The AC-130J Ghostriders, the U.S. military’s newest gunships help the Afghan forces both on the battlefield and psychologically, according to U.S. military officials.

The new plane reportedly begun operations in Afghanistan in the month of June and since then has flown hundreds of sorties.

Col. Terence Taylor, commander of Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component–Afghanistan told the Stars and Stripes “Every night, the AC-130J is flying. The people they are supporting, are requesting them every single night.”

This amounts to 218 sorties and 1,380 hours in the skies over Afghanistan, Col. Taylor added.

Chief Master Sgt. Edward Fry, enlisted leader alongside Taylor at the air component command told the Stars and Stripes “The Ghostriders have saved lives.”

The Ghostrider’s ability to unleash hell, including from its 105 mm howitzer and 30 mm autocannon, have helped Afghan forces both on the battlefield and psychologically, Fry said, adding that “Them hearing the sound of the gunship overhead, that in many ways serves to embolden them.”

This comes as the Afghan and U.S. forces have stepped up ground operations and airstrikes against the militant groups during the recent months, specifically after the U.S. President Donald Trump called off peace talks with Taliban in September.


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