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U.S. Boosts Airpower in Asia with Deployment of Advanced AC-130J Ghostrider

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

On the 24th, upon arriving at the runway of the Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, a large aircraft stood majestically beyond the wall.

This aircraft, painted in a dark navy color scheme, had a bulky body but was spreading its long wings on both sides, exuding an imposing presence.

It was the moment when the AC-130J Ghostrider revealed its first appearance in front of the South Korean press corps. After arriving at Osan Air Base on the 12th, the AC-130J participated in joint military training in Taebaek, Gangwon Province, from the 17th to the 19th before making its debut to the media.

The AC-130J Ghostrider provides air support for ground units performing special operations missions. It is an upgraded version of the C-130 used as a transporter in our Air Force, maximizing ground-to-air attack power without the transport function.

The fundamental difference of the AC-130J is the side-firing weapons.

From over 10,000ft in the air, 30mm machine guns and 105mm howitzers pour out a rain of shells at a rate of thousands per minute. AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, AGM-176 Griffin, and GBU-39 (SDB) precision-guided glide bombs accurately strike specific targets.

With a cruising range of up to 3,000 miles and air-to-air refueling capability, the AC-130J has even earned the name Gunship.

Maj. Josh Burris of the 4th Special Operations Squadron, 1st Special Operations Wing, U.S. Air Force, said, “The AC-130J is the most lethal gunship ever made, capable of eliminating a wide range of targets.”

This is the second deployment of the AC-130J Ghostrider on the Korean Peninsula.

The AC-130J is evaluated to have a significant effect in restraining North Korea by supporting South Korean and U.S. special forces who will infiltrate and operate in major North Korean military facilities in case of emergency.

The AC-130J participated in the South Korea-U.S. joint special operations training (Teak Knife) in March last year.

While the primary purpose of the Teak Knife exercise is enemy infiltration and hostage rescue, it also has the characteristics of a decapitation training exercise that penetrates deep into North Korea to remove key figures, including the North Korean regime, in a contingency. The United States Forces Korea unusually disclosed that U.S. Navy and Air Force special operations personnel came together with the deployment of the AC-130J this time.

This action is presumably intended to demonstrate the solidity of the South Korea-U.S. joint defense posture and warn North Korea against recent provocations.

The United States exclusively operates the AC-130J Ghostrider.

Maj. Burris stated that their efforts are focused on their mission to defend the United States and allied countries as needed. He mentioned that the joint exercise demonstrates their dedication and capabilities while strengthening cooperation with allied and friendly nations.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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