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.


 
 

 
DT_JTC0216

Supreme allied commander comes home

Gen. Philip Breedlove, left, NATO supreme allied commander, Europe, visited Luke Air Force Base Sept. 12. Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, right, 56th Fighter Wing commander, briefed the general on Luke’s evolving mission to train F-3...
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

Command post chief averts potential disaster

Senior Airman Grace Lee Capt. George Normandin, 56th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, received the Aviation Safety Well Done Award Sept. 2, presented by Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander. Normandin took control of an F-...
 
 
Senior Airman
MARCY COPELAND

EOD Airman changed for good by life experiences

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Tech. Sgt. David Gerig’s, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team chief, first assignment after technical school was Kadena Air Base, Japan. The challenges in life are often w...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Helping people goal of CPTS Airman

Courtesy photo Airman 1st Class Scott Giles, left, 56th Comptroller Squadron customer service technician, holds “trumpet in flight” at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Giles now helps new Airmen in-process to Luke Air Force ...
 
 

Air Force News – September 19, 2014

England The first wheelchair rugby game during the 2014 Invictus Games in London went to the United States as they grabbed an early lead and never relinquished it. USA Team beat Australia 14-4 to advance in the tournament. Cameroon Military leaders of 17 African nations and the U.S. gathered for the fourth annual African Air...
 
 

People First – September 19, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. AF survey...
 




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