by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey M. Schultze
9th Reconnaissance WIng Public Affairs
10/14/2015 - Beale Air Force Base, Calif. -- Beale
Air Force Base welcomed back airmen from the 427th and 306th
Reconnaissance Squadrons after they completed the final Operation
Enduring Freedom deployment to Afghanistan of the MC-12W Liberty on Oct.
This was the final MC-12W deployment from Beale and the MC-12W aircrew
will be transitioning into new airframes throughout the Air Force.
"It's my third deployment in three years here with the MC-12W ¬-- third
one, last one," said Capt. Michael, an MC-12W pilot. "It feels really
great to be home."
The squadron members spent the last six months supporting wartime operations such as combat sorties.
The MC-12W is a medium-altitude manned aircraft. The primary mission is
providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support directly
to ground forces. During the deployment, the airmen flew combat
missions with Army aviators on a daily basis. They conducted support for
more than 2,500 combat missions and completed more than 8,000 combat
During its tenure the MC-12W program amassed more than 400,000 combat
hours, over 79,000 combat sorties, eliminated more than 8,000 enemy
combatants and saved countless coalition forces.
"The MC-12 is an extraordinary story of the ingenuity of Americans,"
said Col. Douglas Lee, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander. "They took an
off-the-shelf King Air 350, installed some incredibly modernized ISR
equipment and then they turned it loose in combat with young men and
women who supported troops on the ground on a daily basis."