Family Formation

Photo by SrA Maeson Elleman

The US Air Force 353rd Special Operations Group based at Kadena AB, Japan, conducted a unique formation flight on 26 January 2015. The three-ship formation consisted of one MC-130P Combat Shadow and one MC-130J Commando II Special Operations tankers, both from the 17th Special Operations Squadron, and one MC-130H Combat Talon II Special Operations airlifter from the 1st SOS. Col. Ben Maitre, who was making his final flight as the 353rd SOG commander, flew the lead aircraft in the formation. Retirement of the last group of Combat Shadows in the Pacific began in October 2014, and the final MC-130P from the Pacific is scheduled to retire in April 2015. The final MC-130P Combat Shadow in the Air Force is scheduled to retire May 2015.

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