The MC-130E, more commonly known as Combat Talon, is a unique unconventional warfare aircraft designed to infiltrate, resupply, and exfiltrate elite US Army Special Forces, US Navy Seals, and US Air Force Air Commando personnel into denied areas utilizing both clandestine and covert operational procedures.
1977: Combat Talon Redesignated as the MC-130EEarly in 1977 the most significant event in recent Talon history occurred when aircraft 64-0564 deployed from the United States to the western Pacific utilizing two in-flight refuelings and flying 27.8 nonstop hours. The aircraft had been the first to be modified with the UARRSI. Crew members from the 1st SOS were among the first to be trained on the new system during the last week of January 1977. The mission profile began with the onload of US Navy SEAL personnel at Coronado Naval Air Station, California, on 10 February. With the 17-man SEAL team onboard, the Combat Talon was refueled twice during its transit of the Pacific en route to the Philippines. The first air refueling was completed over Hawaii and the second near Guam. After the second refueling the Combat Talon proceeded on to the Philippines, where it dropped the SEAL team at Subic Bay. To deploy over long distances and air-drop special operations personnel anywhere in the world dramatically improved the capability of the Combat Talon.
Another significant event in Combat Talon history occurred during early 1977. The Combat Talon was redesignated by Headquarters USAF as the MC-130E to reflect its multirole status. Combat Talon had been originally been given the designation C-130E(I), which denoted its special status as a Fulton STARS-equipped, or intercept-capable aircraft. After MOD-70 the Combat Talon carried three designations -- C-130E(C), or "Clamp" configuration for STARS-equipped aircraft; C-130E(Y), or "Yank" configuration for Pacific non-Fulton aircraft; and C-130E(S), or "Swap" configuration for the two non-Fulton-equipped aircraft (64-0571/64-0572) that were occasionally loaned to other organizations outside of SOF. The MC-130E became the one designation for all Combat Talons in early 1977, regardless of equipment installed on the aircraft.
The 7th SOS Identified to Receive European ECM MOD.In Europe the summer of 1977 brought about another major change in the 7th SOS's chain of command. USAFE Special Order GB-19, dated 14 June 1977, formally activated the 7575th Operations Group (OG) at Rhein-Main AB, Frankfurt, Germany, effective 1 July, and assigned the new OG directly under 17th Air Force. Along with the 7th SOS, the 7405th Operations Squadron, also located at Rhein-Main AB and known informally as the "Berlin for Lunch Bunch" was placed under the 7575th. The changes were designed to give 17th AF a better span of control over its highly specialized C-130 units.
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