KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan: Officials activated the Air Force’s newest MC-12 Liberty squadron in a ceremony here May 1.
The 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron has been reactivated many times in the squadron’s fairly unique history, said Col. John A. Cherrey, the commander of the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group and host of the ceremony.
“It started in 1943 in World War II when the members of the unit flew B-17 (Flying Fortresses) and B-24 (Liberators),” he said. “Later, they were reactivated during Vietnam when they flew EC-47s and did a lot of work with a special operations wing back then. In 2002, the unit was reactivated again, flying other aircraft.”
The commander of the newly-activated squadron, Lt. Col. Darren Halford, shared his enthusiasm with the 80-member unit.
“This is a tremendous team perfectly suited for the challenges ahead,” Colonel Halford said.
“The MC-12 is a critical capability, fielded at a critical time,” he said. “Your actions will drastically improve joint and combined counterinsurgency capabilities, assist Afghanistan with defeating the insurgency, and ultimately save American and coalition lives.”