The cool video in this post shows a US Air Force (USAF) aerial gunners operating a 30mm ATK GAU-23/A autocannon and 105mm M102 howitzer onboard an AC-130W Stinger II gunship.
Taken on Aug. 11, 2020 the cool video in this post shows a US Air Force (USAF) aerial gunners operating a 30mm ATK GAU-23/A autocannon and 105mm M102 howitzer onboard an AC-130W Stinger II gunship conducting air operations in support of a maritime surface warfare exercise with the United Arab Emirates Joint Aviation Command forces over the Arabian Gulf.
Lessons learned from overseas contingency operations have modified the near-term needs of U.S. Special Operations Command and Special Operations Forces fire support requirements. In July 2007, the USSOCOM Commander declared the need to grow the gunship fleet.
The commander’s intent was not to replace current AC-130s, but rather to augment existing combat capability.
In May 2012, the MC-130W Dragon Spear was renamed the AC-130W Stinger II. The AC-130W Stinger II Project was developed to increase the precision fires capacity available for Overseas Contingency Operations. USSOCOM used proven rapid acquisition principles and combat proven technology to field the Precision Strike Package on the AC-130W Stinger II. It took less than 18 months from the first flight of a prototype modified aircraft to deployment to Operation New Dawn. AC-130W gunships have since been employed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve.