Local

March 15, 2013

Fighting Falcon hails proud heritage at Luke

Tags:
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Tail number 78-0081, the first F-16 Fighting Falcon permanently assigned to Luke Air Force Base, sits on the flightline Dec. 6, 1982.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon has served the U.S. Air Force as one of the world’s premier fighter aircraft, and for nearly a quarter of a century Luke Air Force Base has produced air-to-air and air-to-ground combat warriors in the venerable fighter.

With the mission of training the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission-ready warfighters, Luke’s roots with the F-16 began Dec. 6, 1982, when the base’s first permanently assigned Fighting Falcon, an ‘A-model,’ arrived.

Prior to the F-16’s arrival, Luke provided training in the F-15 Eagle, as well as the F-4 Phantom II, F-5 Tiger and
F-104 Starfighter. The base’s first class of F-16 student pilots began training on Jan. 25, 1983, and completed the 18-sortie, 24.1-hour training course nearly two months later on March 14. Almost immediately after, Luke expanded its training program to include foreign pilots and maintainers, and on April 26, four Pakistani pilots began training in the F-16.

Both Luke and the F-16 made a huge leap forward in 1984 with the arrival of the upgraded F-16C Block 25 model, which boasted enhanced avionics and improved handling.

Thirty years later, Luke is still producing F-16 pilots for the combat air forces, including pilots from other countries, in the Block 25 model, but also in Block 42 and 52 aircraft as well. In fact, Luke is the only Air Force base that provides F-16 initial training to active-duty pilots. Additionally, as the aircraft has become more sophisticated, featuring the latest technological enhancements, the training course for new F-16 pilots has expanded from the initial 24.1-hour course to a 55-sortie, 73-flying hour course.

Today, Luke continues its proud heritage of training F-16C pilots in four active-duty squadrons – the 62nd, 308th, 309th and 310th Fighter Squadrons; and two foreign squadrons – the 21st and 425th Fighter Squadrons.

Since 1983, the base has graduated more than 16,000 F-16 pilots. With 138 aircraft currently assigned, Luke graduates more than 400 F-16 pilots each year, flying more than 24,000 sorties. Pilots graduating Luke F-16 training enter the combat Air Forces ready to employ the skills they learned in combat zones worldwide.

Courtesy of 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs




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


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo

Chief of staff visits Luke

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and his wife, Betty, spent time meeting with Airmen and leadership Monday at Luke Air Force Base. Welsh highlighted Airman health, wellness and quality of life activities. He also...
 
 

Mentoring fosters dreams, strengthens us

A few days ago while reading an online commander’s call, I came across an article dated Dec. 31, 2014, stating President Obama proclaimed the month of January 2015 National Mentoring Month. Although this topic is thoroughly discussed in our Air Force today, I felt compelled to write on its importance all the same. In a...
 
 

Have you joined the Air Force yet?

I enlisted into the Air Force in February of 1997. However, I didn’t join the Air Force until March of 1999. No, I’m not talking about the Delayed Enlistment Program. There was no doubt that after high school I would attend college. However, not having applied for any scholarships and realizing that I didn’t have...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Prevention training goes face-to-face

Courtesy photo Maj. Jennifer Tomlinson, Air Education and Training Command Medical Readiness Division deputy chief, serves as facilitator during the AETC Medical Services and Training directorate annual Air Force Suicide Preven...
 
 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

Thunderbolt looks to future

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Maddie Baker, 56th Dental Squadron acting commander secretary was an Air Force Honor Guard member prior to crossing over to the dental field. As the commander’s secretary, she plays a piv...
 
 

Tuskegee Airmen commemorated

The Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter of Tuskegee Airman Inc. celebrated the 2nd Annual Tuskegee Airman Commemoration Day with a wreath ceremony Wednesday at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Air Park. The Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day is the result of legislation signed into law by former Arizona Governor Janice Brewer in 2013 and is the first such law...
 




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