AFTER FOUR years of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, the US Air Force’s 361st Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron (ERS) at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, completed its MC-12W Liberty operations at the beginning of September. The squadron had been activated at Kandahar in May 2010 and contributed to Operation Enduring Freedom by providing real-time ISR throughout southern Afghanistan. Missions included convoy overwatch, geographic location of high-value targets, and services for various forward operating bases and ground units in the area.
During the squadron’s time in theatre, the crews executed more than 25,000 air tasking order sorties, flew 115,000 combat flight hours, helped eliminate 450 insurgents from the battle space, provided overwatch for more than 50,000 friendly forces and scanned approximately 8,078 miles (13,000km) of roads supporting ground forces. With the 361st ERS mission at an end, its MC-12Ws have now begun returning home to the USA. Alan Warnes