Theodore's World: Spooky Is Back ~ 10,000 Rounds A Minute Baby

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March 04, 2006

Spooky Is Back ~ 10,000 Rounds A Minute Baby


During Vietnam, gunships destroyed more than 10,000 trucks and were credited with many life-saving close air support missions. AC-130s suppressed enemy air defense systems and attacked ground forces during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. This enabled the successful assault of Point Salines airfield via airdrop and airland of friendly forces.

Spooky is, well, spooky. You call it in when you don't give a fuck who's offended by your presence anymore.


Here is the article.........................

AP: Armed airplanes used in Vietnam War secretly moved to Iraqi base

In a secretive operation, heavily armed gunship versions of C-130 transport planes like these at an airbase in southern Iraq, on Wednesday, are being shipped to Iraq.


The U.S. Air Force has begun moving heavily armed AC-130 airplanes — the lethal “flying gunships” of the Vietnam War — to a base in Iraq as commanders search for new tools to counter the Iraqi resistance, The Associated Press has learned.

An AP reporter saw the first of the turboprop-driven aircraft after it landed at the airfield this week. Four are expected.

The Iraq-based special forces command controlling the AC-130s, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, said it would have no comment on the deployment. But the plan’s general outline was confirmed by other Air Force officers, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Military officials warned that disclosing the location of the aircraft’s new base would violate security provisions of rules governing media access to U.S. installations.

The four-engine gunships, whose home base is Hurlburt Field in Florida, have operated over Iraq before, flying from airfields elsewhere in the region. In November 2004, air-to-ground fire from AC-130s supported the U.S. attack that took the western city of Fallujah from insurgents.

Basing the planes inside Iraq will cut hours off their transit time to reach suspected targets.

Planes heavily armed

The left-side ports of the AC-130s, 98-foot-long planes that can slowly circle over a target for long periods, bristle with a potent arsenal — 40 mm cannon that can fire 120 rounds per minute, and big 105 mm cannon, normally a field artillery weapon. The plane’s latest version, the AC-130U, known as “Spooky,” also carries Gatling gun-type 20 mm cannon.

“It’s got tons of guns, and it’s got all kinds of stuff on it that can be applied to the problems you have,” Brig. Gen. Frank Gorenc, who refused to discuss the current AC-130 deployment, said in an AP interview.

That “stuff” includes “the ability to take these high-tech pods and to use them to find guys planting (bombs) and to find other nefarious activity,” he said.

So what IS an AC-130U

AC-130U Spooky


Posted by Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 01:07 AM


Wish I had one of these for my gun collection. I never saw Spectre in operation, but had lots of experieces with Puff, the old AC-47 Gooney Bird in Vietnam.

Posted by: TomR at March 4, 2006 03:58 AM

According to one of my boys, these ships have to shorten their bursts to avoid stalling in mid air.

We had their Daddies in VN, and called them Puff (the Magic Dragon, and not for the reasons that Oliver Stone would claim). The story was that the Marines called them Spooky, which I can't verify.

Puff was a C-47 with a couple crude mini-guns. Seeing one fire tracers, nearby, at night, was a jaw-dropper.

Posted by: Rhod at March 4, 2006 08:10 AM


Your post wasn't up before I wrote mine. Puff was a noisy little bastard.

I'm wondering why the Spookies are in Iraq. You wouldn't normally chew up a half-dozen crazies with one of these things. They're pretty much for large, or concealed, troop concentrations.

What do you think?

Posted by: Rhod at March 4, 2006 09:24 AM

Hi everyone. I forgot to post the link for the article about this.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 09:43 AM

Thanks WT for all the information you put up for us. You are doing a great job.

You can only use Spooky in a couple of cases, one to save the ass of a unit in serious trouble and in airspace which is relatively undefended.

You can use it in a city, but only when you no longer care about killing civilians.

My bet is that this is the start of the Get the fuck out of Dodge plan

Posted by: Marco at March 4, 2006 09:53 AM

I'm thinking Syria, as Iran is just too big for us to tackle as of now. Or hell, even the Hammas in Syria or Lebanon. Ah hell maybe even Iran with the way things are going.

Posted by: John at March 4, 2006 10:10 AM

Hi Tom "Wish I had one of these for my gun collection."I wish I could get you one for your gun collection. haha Merry Christmas.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 10:13 AM

What about an attack on Iran though... Hmmm. Basing these babies in Iraq is about as close as you can get to Iran. Not that I know crap about crap. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Tommy at March 4, 2006 10:26 AM

Hey WT, just back from treatment and feeling good today. Thanks for never forgetting and keeping me after it. Just a few bad nights now and hell this old fart can handle that right WT?
So here I am and going to post one for our side in this war.

You got a great bunch of guys here ay your blog,glad to be in such good company.

Spectre, Shadow, Spooky, Stinger, Puff. Ah the good old days. Very useful when we go into Iran.
While they can certainly provide some cover for a bug out from Iraq, I suspect the main reason for this new deployment is for our scheduled visit to Iraq's next door neighbour.

Posted by: Paul at March 4, 2006 10:35 AM

Few things rival "Spooky" when unleashed.

Posted by: Washington at March 4, 2006 11:26 AM

Rhod- I think they can be used like a jackhammer to tear down a building from the top or clear rooftops. They are very accurate with minimal or no collateral damage. Remember, Spectre was used very successfully in Panama to take out individual buildings in an urban environment.

This is my guess, or they just say screw it and use the gunship for group therapy for a whole neighborhood-ya ba daba doo!

Posted by: TomR at March 4, 2006 11:32 AM

I dont think these were sent there to cover any withdrawal. As stated before they have been used there before. They are probably going to be used mainly on the border with Syria. But did you note how the report referred to the terrorist as the Iraqi resistance instead of the terrorist that they are.

Posted by: Jack Hamilton at March 4, 2006 03:27 PM

I think they more likely there to be used on the Syrian border. Dont think it has anything to do with bugging out. Notice how the news report referred to the terrorist as the Iraqi resistance? Like there anything but killers and terrorist.

Posted by: Jack Hamilton at March 4, 2006 03:33 PM

Rhod yeah that Oliver Stone had a whole different thing. He is a horrible person.

When I saw the article I had so many questions as to mostly why and where they would be using this.

Thank you for your input Rhod.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:15 PM

Hi Marco nice to meet you. Thank you and thank you for commenting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:16 PM

Hi John the article said only a certain amount of information about this will be told at this time. Iran is a problem you are right, I just don't think this is going to be used for withdrawl. Juat my guess of course.

Nice to meet you and thank you for commenting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:19 PM

Hi Tommy, that is all any of us can do at this point. Thank you for commenting.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:21 PM

Paul, thank you for your take on this. I am so glad you are doing great. It is good to see you too.
Yes the regulars on here are awesome and all Veterans like you Paul.

Take care.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:24 PM

HI Washinhgton when I first saw the name Spooky, it had been a long time since I had heard that name,many years. I remember guys talking about it years ago. So it caught my eye and I am glad you commented on this. Thank you.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:27 PM

HI Jack good to see you. Thank you so much for commenting. Yessss I sure did notice this.............."report referred to the terrorist as the Iraqi resistance instead of the terrorist" sheesh I hate that!

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 4, 2006 05:30 PM

Wahoo!! The son of Puff the Magic Dragon, I'm glad to see the gunship brought in, this will quell a riot.
I recall a nasty night when the Duster wasn't effective no matter how fast we fed it, and we called in Puff, it took the fight right out of our Northern visitors and most of them spent the night and were evicted at daybreak. When puff spoke it sounded just like cloth ripping with each burst of fire and a solid line of tracers lit 'em up. God bless that crew and thanks for the help. There must be something big going down or an aticipated over the fence job for Spectre to be brought in. This is what should have been use on Muqtada al-Sadr a long time back.

Posted by: Jack at March 5, 2006 12:24 AM

Hi Jack,I am so glad Puff was there to help and that you were ok. Thank you for sharing about that.
I agree about al-Sadr he is trouble. I wish they could get rid of him.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 5, 2006 12:54 AM

I had a friend who used to work on the gunships back during Vietnam. He said “Puff” got its name because it resembled a Dragon belching fire when it fired off its guns at night; tracers made it look like a stream of fire. The name originated from the North Vietnamese who thought it was a dragon. He said that the North used to chain the Anti-aircraft gunners to their guns because they were scared of the Dragon and would take off running.

I love the scene in the movie “The Green Berets” when Puff opens up.

Posted by: BobF at March 5, 2006 10:26 AM

OH wow Bob I had forgotten about that in that movie. Thanks for reminding me. And thank you for sharing about what your friend said about the Puff too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 5, 2006 11:05 AM