Published in January
Members of the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron and 56th Medical Operations Squadron emergency medical technicians tend to a simulated victim Jan. 30 during an exercise designed to test the ability of emergency teams to respond quickly and efficiently to an emergency.
Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor, fifth CMSAF, speaks with Luke Air Force Base Airmen during an enlisted call Jan. 25 at the Luke base theater. Gaylor shared with Airmen his four steps to success that included training, technology, tribe and trust.
Members of the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit, crew 205, position AIM-120 ordnance Jan. 11 to attach to an F-16 Fighting Falcon while judges observe during a load crew competition at Luke Air Force Base. Rather than using packages and boards to decide, AMUs determine their best load crews through competition.
Senior Airman Erik Williams, 56th Security Forces Squadron combat arms training instructor, watches Staff Sgt. Brady Craddock, 56th SFS combat arms training instructor, use Senior Airman Gabriel Cuevas, 56th SFS Bravo Flight, as shooting support Feb. 22 during the requalification training at the Ben Avery Shooting Range north of Phoenix. The purpose of requalification is for shooters to maintain their skills as advanced designated marksman snipers.
Published in February
Airmen of the 56th Maintenance Group line up for food Feb. 6 during the flightline feast at Luke Air Force Base. The 56th Fighter Wing Chapel hosts the monthly meal as a way for chaplains and chapel staff to interact with flightline Airmen and give them a chance to gather and eat in a relaxed environment.
Senior Airman Ken Yoshimoto, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit, inspects an AIM-9 missile to be loaded onto an F-16 Fighting Falcon Feb. 8 during the annual load crew competition at Luke Air Force Base. The four AMUs that won the quarterly competitions faced off in the final showdown to find out who is the best-of-the-best weapons load crew.
Luke’s newest chief master sergeants are recognized Feb. 27 by attendees of the Chief Recognition Ceremony. FROM LEFT: Bryan Parsons, 308th Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant superintendent; Sandra Nunes, 56th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent; Johnathan Hover, 56th Force Support Squadron superintendent; William Hight III, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron flight chief; Theodore Ernst, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Armament Flight chief; and Eric Culver, 56th FSS Force Development superintendent. Each new chief was given 56 seconds to thank those who supported them in their careers.
Dianne Nowicki, art instructor, gives feedback to Jeanette Mijokovich, 56th FSS marketing director, on her painting during the fine arts painting class Feb. 14 at Luke Air Force Base.
Published in March
Stephanie Williams, civilian, brings the ball up the court during a game against Camp Pendleton at the Pacific West League Championship Tournament March 24 in the fitness center gym at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Luke won 65-44. The Lady Falcons finished the tournament in second place after falling short in the finals 86-78 against the Las Vegas Heat.
An instructor watches a rider practice tight cornering March 22 at Luke Air Force Base during an advanced rider safety course. The course also covered how to avoid objects in the road and collisions.
Chief Master Sgt. David Staton, former 56th Fighter Wing command chief, practices batting after suiting up in the Kansas City Royals minor league baseball uniform. Staton spoke to the team about resilience, confidence and the drive to go further.
Two F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters stopped at Luke Air Force Base March 4 on their way to Edwards AFB, Calif. The first F-35 is scheduled to arrive at Luke early this year.
Airman 1st Class Reymundo Lopez, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, prepares to jump into the Arctic Enema obstacle of the Tough Mudder challenge Feb. 23 in Mesa. The obstacle featured a pit filled with water and ice and is the second obstacle in the Tough Mudder course that has 21 obstacles featured on a 12-mile course.
Published in April
Firefighters with the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron drive a P-19 Stryker fire truck April 15 carrying a huge water payload to use on simulated burning aircraft during a night fire training exercise. The P-19 Stryker fire hose can shoot water at targets as far away as 190 feet.
Luke Air Force Base children take turns petting Captain Crunch, an American alligator, during the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium visit April 25 at the Child Development Center. Brittney Powers, Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium education specialist, shared facts about each animal exhibited during the event.
1st Lt. Anthony Hylco, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Programs Flight deputy, runs with his team through water April 4 during the Prime BEEF challenge held at the ability to survive and operate area. From fire and emergency services to power production, the challenge involves every aspect of the civil engineer career field.
Members of the 310th Fighter Squadron raise their glasses in a toast to Lt. Col. Frank Bryant in front of the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center April 26. Bryant was killed two years ago when an Afghan opened fire in a meeting at the Northern Kabul International Airport, killing eight service members and one civilian. Bryant was deployed as an air advisor to the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisor Group in Kabul, Afghanistan. The fitness center was renamed in honor of him.
Published in May
Retired Army Corporal Harrison Ruzicka prepares to throw a disc during a Desert Challenge training session May 16 at the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center softball field. Fourteen U.S. Paralympic competitors trained at the fitness center May 13 through 17 for the the challenge on May 18 in Mesa.
Capt. Joe Walker, 309th Fighter Squadron instructor pilot, performs final preflight checks April 18 while Airman 1st Class Jordan King, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, makes final preparations prior to launch. Preflight checks help prevent avoidable errors and ensure safety.
Luke Thunderbolts start off the Boston Relief Relay May 10 at Luke Air Force Base. The event lasted four hours, each hour commemorating a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing. All proceeds went to One Fund to support the victims.
Staff Sgt. Burt Tagaloa, center, 56th Security Forces Squadron, performs a Samoan war dance during the Asian Pacific American Heritage Luncheon at the Navy Operations Support Center on Luke Air Force Base May 23. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, observed in May, celebrates the culture, traditions and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Firefighters from the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron escort biological environmental engineers from the 944th Fighter Wing and 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron to a simulated site to scan for hazardous materials May 22. The chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives exercise prepared Luke Airmen for real-world contingencies.
Published in June
Capt. Brandon Roth, 62nd Fighter Squadron B flight commander, nails down a shingle with the help of Maj. Travis Swan, 62nd FS chief of scheduling, June 22 as part of a Habitat for Humanity project in Avondale. HFH is an organization welcoming people from all walks of life to partner in building and renovating homes for families in need.
Tech. Sgt. William Moncrease, 56th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, and Staff Sgt. Pricilla Saenz, 56th SFS patrolman, look at a base map found among evidence gathered during a training exercise.
Student firefighters prepare to exit the flashover chamber at the Luke Air Force Base fire training area May 4. Luke firefighters use the flashover chamber to educate and train firefighters on the warning signs leading to a flashover.
Staff Sgt. Marquita Magee, 56th Force Support Squadron flight kitchen supervisor, rides a motorcycle simulator while wearing “beer goggles” during a safety fair May 23 at Luke Air Force Base. The event featured interactive information booths with an emphasis on general safety awareness.
Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club members fold uniforms June 6 for delivery to Oklahoma tornado victims. Members of Luke’s Green Knights collected uniforms to donate to tornado victims assigned to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.
Published in July
More than 2,000 people attended this year’s Freedom Fest, Luke’s annual Independence Day celebration July 4 at Fowler Park. Luke Thunderbolts host the event along with sponsors from the local community.
Senior Airman William Riddle, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, controls an EOD robot July 3 simulating the disarming of a roadside bomb during training in the hilly and steep terrain of White Tank Regional Park in Waddell. The off-base location provided an ideal training environment.
Senior Airman Vincent Chavez, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels technician, performs a checkpoint inspection on an R-11 refueling truck prior to the truck being used for the day July 18 at RAF Mildenhall, England. The 944th LRS worked and trained with the 100th LRS, an active-duty unit stationed at RAF Mildenhall during the 944th’s annual tour.
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Tony Robonza, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief, July 9 at Luke Air Force Base. Biden visited Luke AFB while en route to the memorial service held for the 19 firefighters who gave their lives while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire.
56th Security Forces Squadron personnel take down the “suspect” during a simulated active-shooter exercise June 28 at the Luke Air Force 56th SFS training facility.
Published in August
Tech. Sgt. Maria Herrera, soars to an open field during a tandem skydiving event Aug. 17 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, Ariz.
Members of the 56th Medical Group carry a decontamination tent to a suitable setup location during a natural disaster exercise Aug. 1 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise gave Airmen the opportunity to use their life-saving skills in a training environment.
Airman 1st Class Skyler Mills, 56th SFS, reloads the M-240B machine gun Aug. 14 for Airman 1st Class Julius Prefontaine-Gomez, 56th SFS, while Gomez qualifies on the weapon.
Delbert Coburn, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, looks to pass the ball to a teammate during the second half of an intramural basketball game against the 56th Contracting Squadron team Aug. 5 at the Luke Air Force Base Fitness Center gym.
A Luke family member gets his face printed during the Back-to-School Bash Aug. 2 held at Fowler Park on Luke Air Force Base.
Published in September
Senior Airman Justin Adams, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron, helps his teammate run in chemical gear during the Luke Air Force Base Airman Leadership School Class 13-6 unit sponsorship program Aug. 27 at Luke Air Force Base. The ALS unit mentorship program provided an avenue for students to receive valuable senior NCO mentorship from outside their own squadrons and career fields on leadership and professional development.
Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, and Airman 1st Class Jose Rojas Diaz, 756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron knowledge operations manager apprentice and the youngest attendee at the Sept. 14 Air Force Ball, cut the cake together. The theme of the Air Force Ball was “The Evolution of Airpower,” recognizing the history of Luke Air Force Base and Thunderbolt Airmen.
Airmen 1st Class Dakari Holder and Ernest Funue, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Bioenvironmental engineer technicians, use a hazardous material identification kit to test white powder found on a desk during a training session Sept. 5. When unknown substances are found, the bioenvironmental flight can take a portable reader with them to a site for an initial test of the substance.
Airmen from the medical education and training simulator lab and Arizona state representatives from across the valley practice self-aid buddy care Sept. 11 on a manikin simulating a severe injury at the 56th Medical Group ETS lab. The legislators also received a briefing on the state-of-the-art medical technology used to educate Luke Airmen. The legislators were on base for a mission briefing given by Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander. They were given a windshield tour of the base and then headed to the 310th Fighter Squadron to get a glimpse of a day in the life of a pilot, which included life support and a night vision goggle demonstration.
Published in October
Arizona Senator John McCain shakes hands with Airman 1st Class Emilio Cardenas-Martinez, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron electrician, Oct. 23 during a visit to Luke Air Force Base. The senator visited Luke to meet with base leaders and to discuss plans for the inbound F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters, which are expected to arrive early this year.
Maj. Darrell Dierks, 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron nurse, and Veterans Administration personnel help load patients onto a dual-use vehicle Sept. 18 during Operation Swift Savior at the Carl Hayden VA Medical Center where he also works as a critical care nurse.
Capt. Justin Schultz, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosives Ordnance Flight commander, returns simulated fire during predeployment training Sept. 17 through 20 at the Barry M. Goldwater Range in Southwest Arizona. The exercise simulated real-world events that have happened in the past.
Staff Sgt. Scott Foltz, 607th Air Control Squadron radio frequency craftsman, charges to the finish line during the Ghostly Ghoul 5k Oct. 11 at Luke Air Force Base. Participants were encouraged to don their Halloween best during the run. Prizes were given for both the fastest runners and the best costumes.
Published in November
The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron team, left, pushes the ball toward the goal line Nov. 8 as the 56th Security Forces Squadron team pushes back during a combat football game at the 56th Fighter Wing sports day. SFS fought back and defeated LRS.
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning arrives Nov. 5 at Luke Air Force Base. Fanning presided over the retirement ceremony at a luncheon for Dorothy Rowe, 56th Comptroller Squadron chief financial analyst, the longest serving civil servant working for the Air Force. Fanning also toured the base, spoke with wing leaders and spoke at an all-call to about 400 Luke Airmen.
Tech. Sgt. Jason Phillip, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Armament Flight assistant NCO in charge, feeds a s’more to his daughter, Brielle, 2, Nov. 15 while sitting at one of the fire pots made available to campers for roasting marshmallows during the annual family campout.
Left: Phil Murray, retired Navy captain and first-place winner of the car show, explains the details of his 1939 Studebaker pickup to Airman 1st Class David Evans, 56th Dental Squadron and a judge for the Retiree Appreciation Day car show in November. Trophies were handed out to the top three winners during Retiree Appreciation Day.
Published in December
Arizona State University ROTC cadets attempt to lift a log Nov. 22 during the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Airman’s Manual leadership exercise at Luke Air Force Base. The joint service exercise included cadets from ASU, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The four-hour event consisted of cadets in groups navigating through obstacles set up by 56th CES Airmen, which tested cadets on Airman’s Manual proficiency and leadership skills.
An F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter hovers Dec. 10 over Luke Air Force Base. The Marine Corps’ version of the joint strike fighter can operate from austere bases and ships that launch and land aircraft with its short takeoff and vertical landing capabilities.
Luke children play in man-made snow Dec. 6 in the Airman Leadership School parking lot next to Club Five Six during Holiday Magic, an annual event for Luke military families.
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, left, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Maj. Gen. Hoo, Republic of Singapore chief of air forces, shake hands after revealing the tail flashes following the Peace Carvin II Parade Dec. 11. The painted tail flashes commemorate the 20th anniversary of the RSAF partnering with Luke Air Force Base in training fighter pilots.
Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, presents a coin to Senior Airman Leonila Celestino, 607th Air Control Squadron knowledge operations management journeyman, Dec. 4 outside the 607th ACS building. Rand, a former wing commander at Luke, visited the base to talk to Airmen about his priorities and vision for AETC.