"The retirement of aircraft 73-01587 is a historic event for the US Air Force and a proud moment for the EC-130H COMPASS CALL program," said US Air Force Col. Phil Acquaro, 55th ECGcommander.
The 55th ECG, a geographically separated unit from Offutt AFB, Nebraska, is the only Compass Call unit in the Air Force and the service's longest continuously deployed unit since 2001.
"We have been supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom Sentinel since they began and the unit as a whole had a rotation out since, minus September through December 2002; thatwas the last time the 55 ECG has been able to celebrate the holidays as a whole," said Master Sgt. Michael Meredith, 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent.
This may be the end of A1587's flying career, but the aircraft will continue to represent the 55th ECG as it is scheduled to be modified into a static aircraft, placed in front of the ECGcampus.
"Aircraft 1587's legacy was derived from the blood, sweat and tears of the thousands of Americans that designed, built, maintained and flew this aircraft for the last 37 years," said Acquaro.
While the EC-130H fleet reaches the end of its lifespan, the EC-37B Compass Call is slated to start replacing the fleet to keep the mission alive and jamming our adversary's communications.