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.


 
 

 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 
 
Staff Sgt.
LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.

T-bolt fights fire with ‘girl power’

Staff Sgt.LUTHER MITCHELL Jr. Senior Airman Ashley Eisenbarth, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services operator and driver, poses Nov. 12 outside of Luke’s Fire Station 1. Eisenbarth is the only female firefighte...
 

 
Grace Lee

Base celebrates Native American heritage

Grace Lee Clark Tenakhongva, Hopi Tribe guest speaker, sings a traditional song from his tribe Nov. 14 in celebration of Native American Indian Heritage Month during a luncheon in Club Five Six at Luke Air Force Base. The purpo...
 
 

Family counselor teaches Airmen life skills

Military life can be stressful, and it’s good to know you have someone in your corner to talk to. The 56th Force Support Squadron Airmen and Family Readiness Center military and family life counselors are there to support service members and their families during difficult times. “Military families face unique challenges,” said a 56th FSS...
 
 

Exchange holiday return policy gives peace of mind

To make gift-giving easier, the Army & Air Force Exchange service is extending its return policy for items purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24. The Luke Air Force Base Exchange’s standard policy allows returns from 15 to 90 days of purchase with a sales receipt. The holiday return/exchange policy extends these terms through Jan....
 




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