Local

July 26, 2013

Construction on track for F-35 basing

Members of an F-35 construction team give an Arizona Republic reporter a tour of one of the unfinished buildings July 18 at Luke Air Force Base. Luke will eventually have six squadrons and 144 F-35A jets.

 
Once just plans on paper, the F-35 training facilities at Luke Air Force Base are quickly becoming a reality.

The Air Force announced just less than a year ago that Luke would be the training site for the new F-35 Lightning II, a fifth-generation fighter jet that will eventually phase out the service’s F-16s and A-10s. The first F-35 is expected to arrive at Luke in early 2014.

The recent announcement that Luke will receive another 72 F-35’s, bringing the eventual total to 144 aircraft, means Luke will need to accommodate six new F-35 fighter squadrons.

Construction to make way for the aircraft is now well under way, with a completion date of June 2014 projected for the first two fighter squadrons. The construction also includes a $54 million academic training center that will be used to train both pilots and maintainers.

“Out of the 17 construction projects, the ATC is by far the largest,” said Lt. Col. Scott Fredrick, 56th Fighter Wing F-35 division chief. “When completed, it will also house administrative, engineering and operations personnel.”

The ATC, which will hold 12 F-35 simulators, will be more than 145,000 square feet in size and is expected to be ready for training by August 2014. It will be a brand new addition to Luke, but not all construction will start from the ground up.

“As some of the F-16 squadrons begin to make their way to Holloman Air Force Base we will be able to begin modifying those existing buildings to accommodate additional F-35 squadrons,” Fredrick said.

An F-35 operations building is under construction. The first jets are scheduled to begin arriving at Luke next year.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays a vital role in executing part of the construction at Luke, said Daniel Calderon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public affairs specialist.

“We’re very proud to be a part of this construction project,” he said. “We’re the very best there is when it comes to construction and we’re here to help in any way we can and will be a part of the process for the foreseeable future.”

Some Airmen at Luke will also play a vital role in the construction process, said Senior Master Sgt. Donald Stroud, 56th Maintenance Group F-35 lead.

“The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron is responsible for reviewing and approving all construction plans before any ground is actually broken,” Stroud said. “The 56th Communications Squadron will also be responsible for setting up all secured networks after construction is completed.”

Between fiscal years 2011 and 2014, the projected total construction cost to accommodate the F-35 is $186.15 million.

 

Aircraft are expected to begin arriving at Luke next spring, although exact timing will depend on production schedules. Construction on base to prepare for the aircraft is currently underway, with about $10 million of the total in projects already completed.

 

An Arizona Republic reporter takes notes as members of the F-35 construction team show him projects underway on base.

 

The new F-35 Academic Training Center is under construction at Luke. It is due to be completed at the beginning of 2014.




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


 
 

 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 
Senior Airman 
MARCY COPELAND

Luke’s youngest Thunderbolts perform ‘Treasure Island’

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Long John Silver (Kwame Lilly), Cap’n Patches (Sonja Barajas), Davey the Letterman (Terrell Straton), Sing-Sing Sam (Emily Ray), Goldie the Hun (Hannah Hudgins), Mother Hawkins (Simone Commack), Ha...
 
 
dt-140718-F-NG006-432

AMUs ‘Throw-Down’ to show who’s best

Senior Airman Jarod Davis, 56th Maintenance Group weapons lead crew member, evaluates Airman 1st Class Kaden Allred, 308th AMU load crew member, as he installs the 1760 cable on the guided bomb unit 38. Airman 1st Class Dustin ...
 

 
18-140717-F-BI299-018-V

Kenyan official visits base

Gen. Julius Waweru Karangi, chief of the defense forces, Kenya, is escorted by Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, July 17 when he visited Luke Air Force Base. They walked to the 308th Fighter Squadron, where ...
 
 

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise Aug. 15. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting...
 
 
Senior Airman
GRACE LEE

Luke welcomes new MXG commander

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE Col. Ricky Ainsworth took command of the 56th Maintenance Group Wednesday at Luke Air Force Base. The 56th Maintenance Group changed leaders Wednesday as Col. Victor Mora relinquished command of the 56th ...
 




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