Air Force

August 3, 2012

Luke AFB selected for F-35A pilot training

Tags:
By Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
56th Fighter Wings Public Affairs

It’s official, the F-35 is coming to Luke Air Force Base.

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced Wednesday that Luke AFB has been chosen as the location of the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II pilot training center. The base will receive 72 aircraft for a total of three fighter squadrons.

“This is a great day for Luke,” said Brig. Gen. JD Harris, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “Our selection for F-35 training ensures the long-term viability of our mission of training the world’s greatest fighter pilots, which we’ve been doing at Luke for seven decades.”

The F-35, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft intended to be the Air Force’s premier strike aircraft through the first half of the 21st Century. It is a multirole fighter that is expected to eventually phase out the service’s F-16s and A-10s.

Aircraft will begin to arrive at Luke between late 2013 to mid-2014, although exact timing will depend on production schedules. Construction on base to prepare for the aircraft, however, is expected to start almost immediately.

The Record of Decision cited several reasons why Luke was the service’s top choice, including facility and ramp capacity, range access, weather, as well as capacity for future growth.

“We’re the envy of the Air Force when it comes to community support,” said Rusty Mitchell, director of Luke’s Community Initiatives Team. “While there has been development that’s grown out toward Luke, the community has made every effort to ensure that the growth has been compatible with our mission. We cannot thank our West Valley neighbors enough for letting us be part of the community, not just in the community.”

In addition to training U.S. pilots, Luke will also serve as an F-35A International Partner Training site.

“The Air Force is committed to training our U.S. and partner nation pilots on this fifth-generation fighter aircraft,” said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff. “Collaborative training on aircraft designed with stealth, maneuverability and integrated avionics will better prepare our combined forces to assume multirole missions for the future of tactical aviation.”

The decision culminates a nearly three-year process that included an extensive Environmental Impact Statement that examined impacts on air quality, noise, land use and socioeconomic issues. The analysis was required in order to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and to help decision makers understand items of interest to the public and other federal and state agencies.

“The Air Force was very diligent in this process,” Mitchell said. “It was a very open, transparent and repeatable process that was done the same at all the candidate bases.”

Even as Team Luke prepares to open a new chapter, Harris said, the 56th Fighter Wing remains focused on its current mission: Training the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers while deploying mission-ready warfighters.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

56th FW has new mission

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, left, 56th Fighter Wing commander, and Charles Lilly, right, lithograph artist, present the new 56th Fighter Wing lithograph May 21 during the 56th FW change of mission cer...
 
 

Develop your replacement

Although it might be a hard pill to swallow in today’s self-esteem charged, participation-trophy society, we are all replaceable. I often say of the Air Force’s perpetual personnel moves, we are all transitional employees so we should subscribe to the “hit by a bus” theory of leadership development. In other words, if you don’t show...
 
 

Balance

It is obvious, since the beginning of time, society in general has become more and more advanced. Today’s Air Force is absolutely no exception. As Airmen our mission is simple — to fly, fight and win. However, when we look at the essence of what each one of us do in the Air Force, that...
 

 
Senior Airman James Hensley

A mother’s right …

Senior Airman James Hensley Senior Airman Marcy Copeland, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, closes a curtain to the nursing room May 13 at the 56th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center on Luke Air For...
 
 

News Briefs May 29, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiting Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. The event is open to all military and civilian service members...
 
 

35 senior airmen graduate ALS

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 35 senior airmen May 14 from class 15-4. The award winners are: John L. Levitow Award: Noah Bolton, 56th Operations Support Squadron Distinguished graduates: Jared Clark, 56th OSS; Jacob Gagnon, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron; and Rodney Yolangco, 56th OSS Commandant’s Award: Jared Clark, 56th OSS Academic Achievement...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin