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 May 15, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiitng Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 2 in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. Open to civilians and all ranks of enlisted and officers....
 
 

NVG inspection

Senior Airman Devante Williams Senior Airman Jose Ochoa, 56th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician, does a 180-day inspection on night-vision goggles at Luke Air Force Base. NVGs are mainly used by pilots to perform night flying. Other aircrew flight equipment inspections are for helmets, oxygen masks, parachutes, flotation devices, survival kits, anti-gravitation gar...
 
 

Free summer camp open to EFMP kids

With schools getting ready to dismiss students for the summer, parents are looking for safe, fun activities for their children. Parents with exceptional family member children may have difficulty finding the right activities. A parent needs to ensure the child will get the supervised care needed, which sometimes includes medical care. That is why the...
 

 
18_150313-F-VY794-033

Weapons loading team under watchful eye

Freelove loads an AIM-120 missile onto an F-16.   Staff Sgt. Jacob Freelove, right, 56th Maintenance Group weapons standardization team chief, and Airman 1st Class Emmylou Hermanson, 56th MXG weapons standardization team m...
 
 
4_Learning-to-fly

Air field manager learns to fly

Staff Sgt. Mark Smith, 56th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of air field management training, stands in front of an F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter April 21 on Luke Air Force Base. Smith completed his private p...
 
 
Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer

Air Show returning March 19-20, 2016

Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer Crowds gather to catch a glimpse of Luke’s newest jet, the F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter, on March 16, 2014, during the Open House and Air Show at Luke Air Force Base. Luke Air Force Base’...
 




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