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.


 
 

 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




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