The 27th Special Operations Wing held a ceremony on Thursday, March 21, to unveil the Excalibur II, an AC-130W Stinger II, as a static display.

The ceremony honored the aircraft’s dedication as a wartime gunship and its numerous contributions to various operations.

A Legacy of Close Air Support

Heads up, aviation geeks and history buffs! Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico recently held a ceremony to honor a true legend: the AC-130W Stinger II gunship nicknamed “Excalibur II.”

This bad boy wasn’t just another plane collecting dust in a hangar. Nope, Excalibur II was a war hero, racking up an impressive career before finally getting a well-deserved retirement.

Let’s rewind a bit. Back in 2007, the folks at US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) realized their gunship fleet needed a serious upgrade.

So, they rolled up their sleeves and whipped up a whole new package for the MC-130W Dragon Spear, focusing on precision strikes.

Talk about a quick turnaround! Less than 18 months after they first took it for a spin, the souped-up aircraft was already deployed for Operation New Dawn.

Excalibur II, rocking tail number 88-1308, was one of those original test planes.