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17th Special Operations Squadron showcase AC-130J at Kaneohe Bay Airshow

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cassidy Thomas
  • U.S. Air Force 27th Special Operations Command Public Affairs

Air Commandos from the 27th Special Operations Wing participated in the Kaneohe Bay Airshow Aug 13-14, 2022 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The 17th Special Operations Squadron, assigned to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, showcased their AC-130J Ghostrider gunship during an airshow static display.

They represented the Air Force Special Operations Command premiere expeditionary platform used to provide fire support for special operations units and allies around the world.

“The aircrew was able to highlight the AC-130J for our joint special operation forces, our conventional teammates and the people of Hawaii,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Andrew Saylor, 17th Special Operations Squadron commander. “The team forged critical relationships with fellow servicemen and women and demonstrated commitment to building Special Operations Forces capacity in the Indo-Pacific.”

Gunship aircrew educated audiences about the importance of the mission at the 2-day static display. The AC-130J was the center of attention for even the youngest of visitors.

“Through our static air show, we provided an opportunity for people to see U.S. military air capabilities in action and meet service members who fly and maintain the AC-130J,” said Staff Sgt. Manuel Castellanos, 17th Special Operations Squadron special mission aviator and lead gunner. “We aimed to excite and inspire the public at the Kaneohe Bay Airshow.”

Audiences gained a glimpse of Air Force military operations thanks to the aircrew sharing their insights on what it's like to be a gunship aircrew.

“Coming to these airshows is a way to thank the local community as well as excite and empower our youth,” said Staff Sgt. Castellanos.