Local

March 22, 2013

Luke reaches millionth hour milestone

Tags:
STEPHEN DELGADO
Thunderbolt staff writer

The millionth F-16 Fighting Falcon flying training hour at Luke Air Force Base was reached March 13. F-16s first touched down at Luke AFB on Dec. 6, 1982. To date, Luke has graduated 18,164 F-16 fighter pilots. Approximately 2,000 F-16 hours are flown a month by Luke pilots and students.

Translating a million hours into years equals 114 years and one month. Going that far back in time places a person in February of 1899.

Luke Air Force Base reached an F-16 milestone March 13 when a Fighting Falcon took to the skies marking a million flying hours in this venerable aircraft at Luke.

The historic flight was flown by 1st Lt. Matthew Wetherbee, 309th Fighter Squadron student pilot, and Capt. Joseph Walker, 309th Fighter Squadron instructor pilot and assistant chief of weapons.

“I was Lieutenant Wetherbee’s instructor pilot of record and flew in the rear cockpit,” Walker said. “The flight went very well, with Lieutenant Wetherbee performing tactical intercepts to achieve a visual identification of a simulated enemy aircraft and employ weapons. My role was to ensure safe execution and provide airborne instruction to ensure that the desired learning objectives were met.”

Col. John Hanna, 56th Operations Group commander, said that Luke is the first base to achieve the 1-million-hour mark.

“This feat was quite an historic event, and I was honored to be part of it,” he said. “I started flying the F-16 with the 62nd Fighter Squadron in 1989 when we used to do much of the F-16 training at MacDill AFB, Fla.

“As an instructor in the 309th FS from 2002 to 2003, it was neat to have a young lieutenant be the one to actually hit the mark. He’ll be able to carry that his whole career and it was fitting that a student be the one, since the milestone was reached at the premier F-16 training base in the world. It was even more special since this great event occurred in the same squadron where I was previously assigned.”

What’s more, Walker praised the quality of students who train at Luke, and said he looks forward to continuing this legacy.

“The caliber of students we receive here makes my job much easier and very rewarding,” he said. “Their motivation and desire to learn is remarkable. I am very pleased to have a part in the mission of training the fighter pilots of tomorrow. I hope Luke continues to fly fighters and train fighter pilots for another million hours, if not in the F-16, then in other fighters, continuing the tremendous history and legacy of this base.”

The F-16 arrived at Luke Dec. 6, 1982, and since then thousands of students have been trained here.




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