On Dec. 6th, a sea of blue flooded a sleepy township in Pennsylvania to honor Staff Sgt. Dylan Elchin, the 25-year-old airman who was killed alongside two U.S. Army Green Berets in Afghanistan in late November.

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In the last two hours of his life, Air Force Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman saved the lives of a special operations teams by sacrificing himself to stop the enemy from shooting down a helicopter carrying reinforcements to the battle.

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The AC-130J Ghostrider ground-attack aircraft has picked up several different unofficial moinikers in the five years the Air Force Special Operations Command maniacs at Hurlburt Field have spent slapping guns on the thing: “The most advanced gunship in the inventory." “The ultimate battle plane.” “A bomb truck with guns on it.”

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Air Force Special Operations Command has been itching to add a frickin’ laser beam to the already-brimming arsenal of its AC-130J Ghostrider gunships. But plans for a high-powered add-on to the Air Force’s “ultimate battle plane” may have hit a significant obstacle.

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U.S. Air Force

The MC-103J Commando II airplane rumbled low to the ground, nearing the intense firefight below where a team of American special operators and allied commandos were encircled by Taliban fighters in a remote part of Afghanistan.

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