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Four MC-130Ps taxi through a water arch after completing their final formation flight from Kadena AB, Japan, on Oct. 16, 2014, before their retirement. Air Force photo by TSgt. Kristine Dreyer

Airmen with the 17th Special Operations Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan, paid honor to the venerable MC-130P Combat Shadow by conducting a final formation flight before the last of their MC-130Ps are retired, according to a base release. “Today's final four-ship formation flight was the 17th Special Operations Squadron's tribute to the heritage and legacy of this fine aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Colunga, 17th SOS commander, of the Oct. 16 event. The MC-130P has served well in the Pacific, “but ultimately it is time to retire the fleet and bring out the MC-130J Commando II as its replacement,” he added. The first of Kadena’s MC-130Ps left the base in July 2013. The squadron’s last remaining MC-130Ps are scheduled to start departing Kadena in October; all will be gone by April 2015, states the release. Kadena's MC-130Js are slated to arrive in the next year. “The Combat Shadow has proven its worth even at the end of its long career. That says a lot,” said Capt. Matthew Davis, a 17th SOS pilot.