MC-130J goes Commando

The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has changed the name of its new Lockheed Martin MC-130J from “Combat Shadow II” to “Commando II”, commander Lt Gen Eric Fiel has announced.

“This name best reflects the multi-mission role of the aircraft and the units that will fly them,” he said during a 9 March ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

To replace AFSOC’s remaining MC-130E/P tankers, the Commando II fleet will perform missions including providing in-flight refuelling for special operations helicopters and tiltrotors and the covert insertion and extraction of personnel.


Commando 560.jpgAlternative names for the type (Lockheed Martin image above) also considered included “Combat Arrow” and “Combat Knife”, the USAF revealed.

AFSOC says its final choice of name also harks back to the legacy of the Curtiss C-46A Commando, first flown in 1940. A glance at that type’s Wikipedia entry cites nicknames including the “Curtiss Calamity”, “Flying Coffin”, “Plumber’s Nightmare” and “Whale”, so let’s hope there’s no read-through with the new type.


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