Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

AP: AC-130 Gunships Returning to Iraq
Yahoo/AP ^ | March 3, 2006 | CHARLES J. HANLEY

Posted on 03/03/2006 10:41:34 AM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

AN AIR BASE IN IRAQ - The U.S. Air Force has begun moving heavily armed AC-130 airplanes — the lethal "flying gunships" of the Vietnam War — to a base in Iraq as commanders search for new tools to counter the Iraqi resistance, The Associated Press has learned.

An AP reporter saw the first of the turboprop-driven aircraft after it landed at the airfield this week. Four are expected.

The Iraq-based special forces command controlling the AC-130s, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, said it would have no comment on the deployment. But the plan's general outline was confirmed by other Air Force officers, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Military officials warned that disclosing the location of the aircraft's new base would violate security provisions of rules governing media access to U.S. installations.

The four-engine gunships, whose home base is Hurlburt Field in Florida, have operated over Iraq before, flying from airfields elsewhere in the region. In November 2004, air-to-ground fire from AC-130s supported the U.S. attack that took the western city of Fallujah from insurgents. Basing the planes inside Iraq will cut hours off their transit time to reach suspected targets.

The left-side ports of the AC-130s, 98-foot-long planes that can slowly circle over a target for long periods, bristle with a potent arsenal — 40 mm cannon that can fire 120 rounds per minute, and big 105 mm cannon, normally a field artillery weapon. The plane's latest version, the AC-130U, known as "Spooky," also carries Gatling gun-type 20 mm cannon.

The gunships were designed primarily for battlefield use to place saturated fire on massed troops. In Vietnam, for example, they were deployed against North Vietnamese supply convoys along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, where the Air Force claimed to have destroyed 10,000 trucks over several years.

The use of AC-130s in places like Fallujah, urban settings where insurgents may be among crowded populations of noncombatants, has been criticized by human rights groups.

The slow-moving AC-130s also offer an intelligence gathering advantage in the Iraq fight: sophisticated long-range video, infrared and radar sensors.

American commanders are marshaling all available tools to detect the Iraqi insurgents' stealthy operations, especially at night, when they plant roadside bombs targeting American road patrols and convoys.

The Air Force's senior tactical commander in Iraq said the AC-130 can be both a high-intensity and low-intensity weapon.

"It's got tons of guns, and it's got all kinds of stuff on it that can be applied to the problems you have," Brig. Gen. Frank Gorenc, who refused to discuss the current AC-130 deployment, said in an AP interview.

That "stuff" includes "the ability to take these high-tech pods and to use them to find guys planting (bombs) and to find other nefarious activity," he said.

The Predator drone — the MQ-1 unmanned aerial vehicle — has been a reconnaissance workhorse in Iraq, but Air Force officers say they don't have enough to meet demand for missions. The fiscal 2007 Defense Department budget proposed last month by the Bush administration envisions spending $1.6 billion on additional reconnaissance drones.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: ac130s; c130; gnfi; iraq; oif; traitormedia; usaf
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-104 next last

1 posted on 03/03/2006 10:41:37 AM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Things that go "bang" in the night eh?


2 posted on 03/03/2006 10:43:09 AM PST by lexington minuteman 1775 (I)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
The U.S. Air Force has begun moving heavily armed AC-130 airplanes — the lethal "flying gunships" of the Vietnam War

Hell, if they think they were lethal in Vietnam, they should get a load of them now!!!!! AF gunners bump!

3 posted on 03/03/2006 10:43:19 AM PST by Rummyfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

bookmark


4 posted on 03/03/2006 10:43:38 AM PST by scratcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
If the iraqi rabble wont behave, they need a quick trip to allah via a hard rain of steel from the sky.
5 posted on 03/03/2006 10:44:51 AM PST by brainstem223
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rummyfan

AC-130s practicing out of Eglin make for a fantastic fireworks show while you're out in the wet.


6 posted on 03/03/2006 10:45:34 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: lexington minuteman 1775

Hair, teeth, and eyeballs...coming to a theatre near you.


7 posted on 03/03/2006 10:45:57 AM PST by paddles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Are these the secret updated versions that can hover?........


8 posted on 03/03/2006 10:46:11 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJSAMPLE

Hurlburt Field.......


9 posted on 03/03/2006 10:46:43 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Anyone care to post some links to video of these puppies in action?


10 posted on 03/03/2006 10:46:47 AM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

this can't be good news.


11 posted on 03/03/2006 10:47:17 AM PST by skeeter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: brainstem223

Horrible writing in this article. The AC-130 didn't enter service until well after Vietnam was over. The AC-47 "Spooky" was the aircraft used in Vietnam.


12 posted on 03/03/2006 10:47:18 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
the lethal "flying gunships" of the Vietnam War

Oh dear. Does that mean Iraq is another Vietnam?

13 posted on 03/03/2006 10:48:13 AM PST by SlowBoat407 (The best stuff happens just before the thread snaps.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Those puppies lay down alot of iron.


14 posted on 03/03/2006 10:48:40 AM PST by HEY4QDEMS (Learn from the past, don't live in it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

15 posted on 03/03/2006 10:48:51 AM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Spktyr
Derived from the WWII era C-47 a mid 1930's airliner, one of the most enduring airplanes ever conceived.
17 posted on 03/03/2006 10:50:14 AM PST by brainstem223
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: lexington minuteman 1775

Spectre: The Minister of Death from Above.


18 posted on 03/03/2006 10:50:14 AM PST by DarthVader (Conservatives aren't always right , but Liberals are almost always wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
AC 130U "Spooky"

19 posted on 03/03/2006 10:50:14 AM PST by afnamvet (CONGRESS.SYS corrupted; Reformat WASH_DC (Y/N)?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget


"Say hello to my little friend"

Spooky, Puff the Magic Dragon or just plain old Puff. No matter what you call it this will definitely put some hurt on the enemy.

God bless our troops wherever they may be.

20 posted on 03/03/2006 10:50:15 AM PST by JusticeTalion (Vulcan's never bluff.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Heh...How close is Iran?


21 posted on 03/03/2006 10:51:02 AM PST by Dallas59 ((“You love life, while we love death"( Al-Qaeda & Democratic Party))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
The AC-47 "Spooky" was the aircraft used in Vietnam

I thought the "Spooky" was the AC-130U?
22 posted on 03/03/2006 10:51:05 AM PST by HEY4QDEMS (Learn from the past, don't live in it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: skeeter

I would be more worried if they did not bring in more fire power. These things are useless without targets. Apparently, targets will be flushed and eliminated.


23 posted on 03/03/2006 10:51:21 AM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Cone of Fire bump!


24 posted on 03/03/2006 10:51:26 AM PST by Toby06 (Check out my revised profile!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
This redeployment will save a lot of soldiers lives , to have tac - air on call from AC-130s

Good move!

AC-130's "dragon breath" in Vietnam: Image hosting by Photobucket

25 posted on 03/03/2006 10:51:32 AM PST by Candor7 (Into Liberal Flatulence Goes the Hope of the West)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr

The AC-130 was fully operational during Vietnam, just not in the current form. Over the course of the Vietnam war, the guns got bigger (and fewer), but it was most certainly in operation.


26 posted on 03/03/2006 10:52:00 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
It looks like it got some service in Vietnam, at least according to Wikipedia
• Entered service: AC-130H: 1972 (AC-130U: 1995) The AC-130 gunship has a combat history dating to the Vietnam War, where it replaced the AC-47 and the AC-119.

27 posted on 03/03/2006 10:52:23 AM PST by elfman2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: skeeter

I'm thinking that this might be in response to: "al Qaeda Plotting 'Big Bang' in Iraq..."


28 posted on 03/03/2006 10:52:36 AM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
I think that was "Puff." Spooky is currently in service.
29 posted on 03/03/2006 10:54:09 AM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget
The planes have been there almost from beginning. No. 1 son a Marine grunt in Fallujah and Ramadi on two separate tours. Saw and heard 'em used.
30 posted on 03/03/2006 10:55:07 AM PST by JeeperFreeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Right on the gulf, right?


31 posted on 03/03/2006 10:56:11 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: HEY4QDEMS
The original AC 47 "Puff" flew in the Vietnam war. "Spooky" was an update to that aircraft.

The AC 130U "Spooky"is the latest weapons platform for that aircraft.

32 posted on 03/03/2006 10:56:53 AM PST by afnamvet (CONGRESS.SYS corrupted; Reformat WASH_DC (Y/N)?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

A time exposure taken by USAF Captain Ralph Jones from a Saigon rooftop
showing a pair of 'Spooky' gunships at work on Vietcong positions in Saigon,.
during the 1968 Tet Offensive. (U.S. Air Force photo)

33 posted on 03/03/2006 10:56:54 AM PST by Hatteras
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HEY4QDEMS

To the best of my knowledge, the AC-47 didn't have an official nickname, but the troops called it "Spooky" or "Puff, The Magic Dragon."

The AC-130H's official nickname is "Spectre". The AC-130U's name is "Spooky II".

And I have to retact what I said earlier - the first AC-130 was deployed in 1972.


34 posted on 03/03/2006 10:57:57 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Dallas59

Hmmmm... that was my first thought as well.


35 posted on 03/03/2006 11:00:19 AM PST by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr

Yep.
Originally deployed for firebase support but retasked to the Ho Chi Minh trail through Laos as supply interdiction.


36 posted on 03/03/2006 11:01:27 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
"Puff, The Magic Dragon."

That was it. It was one Bad Dude.

37 posted on 03/03/2006 11:01:31 AM PST by DeaconRed (IF . . . . . . . . . . . . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr
No problem, I'm no expert on aircraft so that's why I asked.

Fortunately for me I was correct which means I might have to bookmark this thread to prove to my wife that at least sometimes I'm right.
38 posted on 03/03/2006 11:02:01 AM PST by HEY4QDEMS (Learn from the past, don't live in it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: bill1952

47 was puff, the 130 at that time was super puff.


39 posted on 03/03/2006 11:02:20 AM PST by eastforker (Under Cover FReeper going dark(too much 24))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: TheDon

Seems like a lot of firepower to deal with terrorists planting IEDs.


40 posted on 03/03/2006 11:03:57 AM PST by babaloo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr

Correction - the AC-47D's actual nickname or call-sign was "Spooky".

http://www.theaviationzone.com/factsheets/ac47.asp

No outpost, village, or position under Spooky's protection was ever lost to the enemy.


41 posted on 03/03/2006 11:04:10 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

ac130 short vid here: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/67890/ac130_hercules_gunship/?itemID=67890&referrerID=&langID=en


42 posted on 03/03/2006 11:04:58 AM PST by Toby06 (Check out my revised profile!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Spktyr

I thought that the first of the AC-130s was introduced during the Vietnam war.


43 posted on 03/03/2006 11:05:37 AM PST by Always Independent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

http://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,575181,00.html

Sorry, I don't know how to post a link. This URL has
an intersting graphic showing the firepower.


44 posted on 03/03/2006 11:06:20 AM PST by righttackle44 (The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle and the American people behind him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SJSAMPLE

Could throw a rock in it..........


45 posted on 03/03/2006 11:06:21 AM PST by Red Badger (And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: HEY4QDEMS
The original Cone Of Fire:


46 posted on 03/03/2006 11:06:51 AM PST by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

I was just down at Hurlburt Field recently on C130 business, as a matter of fact. Iraqi insurgents probably will need several additional changes of underwear.


47 posted on 03/03/2006 11:07:06 AM PST by TommyDale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget

Thank goodness the Associated Press continues to do free intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance work for the enemy.


48 posted on 03/03/2006 11:07:49 AM PST by jpl ("We don't negotiate with terrorists, we put them out of business." - Scott McClellan)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Man, it sucks that The Army no longer has any decent ocean-view bases. Must be nice ;)


49 posted on 03/03/2006 11:07:49 AM PST by SJSAMPLE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
They are based at Hurlburt but the testing is done at Eglin. Technically Hurlburt is a separate base but it is totally surrounded by Eglin or maybe some private land too.

When I was growing up, we called it field 9, some locals still do.

50 posted on 03/03/2006 11:08:06 AM PST by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-104 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson