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 Grace Lee

2015 NFL Pro Bowl players practice at Luke

Senior Airman Grace Lee Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos cornerback, assigned to Team Carter, signs footballs for fans at Luke. NFL Pro Bowl players came to the Luke Air Force Base football field Jan. 21 to practice and sign autograp...
 
 

Let’s be an all-volunteer force

Well, we made it through the holiday season. Hopefully we have all reset and are ready to rock and roll this year. By now we should be well into fulfilling the New Year’s resolutions that we set in place to improve ourselves. I’m sure you are hitting the gym more or maybe just starting to....
 
 

Stay out of rain; see bigger picture

Supervisors, you build and lead teams to the best of your abilities. You hold an umbrella of protection over your people, but what do you do when one of your members runs into the rain via a bad decision? Do you take your protective umbrella from other members to go cover your solo member? Or...
 

 
Senior Airman
GRACE LEE

Luke 1 takes last Viper ride

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, returns from his last flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon Jan. 23 at Luke Air Force Base. Pleus’ last flight symbolizes Luke stepping forward with a ne...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

VH1 concert VH1 and sponsors supporting the event are hosting a Super Bowl Blitz concert featuring Fall Out Boy and Charli XCX at 5 p.m. today in Hangar 999 as a “Thank you” to those who serve in the U.S. military. Members of the Luke community are invited and the concert is free. Service members...
 
 
Senior Airman 
DEVANTE WILLIAMS

61st AMU assigns first F-35 dedicated crew chiefs

Senior AirmanDEVANTE WILLIAMS Members of the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit dedicated crew chiefs prepare to recite the Mechanic’s Creed during the recognition ceremony Jan. 23 in Hanger 431 at Luke Air Force Base. Seventeen ...
 




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