That’s the sound America makes when she’s angry.”
That’s how Col. Tom Palenske, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, characterized the AC-130 gunship after two aircraft fired hundreds of rounds from their 40mm and 105mm cannons and 25mm Gatling gun in the skies above A-77, a range specially made for target practice.
Palenske, also the installation commander here, says crews can’t wait for the next best thing: the AC-130J Ghostrider.
“It’s going to be awesome. It’s our big gun truck. It’s going to have more powerful engines, a more efficient fuel rate, and also has a more precise fuel capability so you know exactly how much gas you’ve got on board,” he said.
Palenske caught up with Military.com during a tour of Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft and a live-fire training exercise on ranges used by Hurlburt and neighboring Eglin Air Force Base as part of Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson’s recent trip to AFSOC.