Air Force

January 17, 2014

Luke pilot selected to fly F-35

Tags:
Staff Sgt. TIMOTHY BOYER and Airman 1st Class PEDRO MOTA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Capt. Joshua Arki, 61st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot and chief of weapons and tactics, is welcomed back Dec. 31, 2013, after his final flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon on the Luke Air Force Base flightline. Arki was selected as the first Luke F-16 pilot to transition to the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and is currently attending training on the new airframe at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He is expected to return to his Luke squadron in March.

Flying is a concept that captures the imagination of some people at a very young age; hence the success of characters like Peter Pan, Superman and even a flying house in the 2009 movie “Up.”

Few get to realize that dream, but Capt. Joshua Arki, 61st Fighter Squadron instructor pilot and chief of weapons and tactics, realized his dream by first mastering flight in an F-16 Fighting Falcon and has now been selected as the first Luke Air Force Base F-16 pilot to transition to the F-35 Lightening II joint strike fighter, scheduled to arrive at Luke early this year.

“The decision was made that the first pilot to transition had to be the new squadron’s chief of weapons and tactics,” said Lt. Col. Shamsher Mann, 62nd Fighter Squadron commander. “We needed it to be an Air Force Weapons School graduate. The list was further narrowed based on rank and time on station. We also needed someone who demonstrated superior instructional skills and the competence to take on the daunting task of defining new tactics for a new fighter while building the initial crop of F-35 pilots for the Air Force.”

While there were other contenders, Arki met all criteria and was chosen for the big job, Mann said.

It is bittersweet to give up flying the F-16, Arki said, describing the Fighting Falcon as the greatest multirole fighter ever. But he has hopes of helping the F-35 to meet and maybe surpass that legacy one day.

“There are only a small number of pilots qualified on the F-35, so we are literally creating and testing tactics on a daily basis,” he said.

Arki is currently TDY to Eglin AFB, Fla., where he is learning the ins and outs of the F-35. As an instructor pilot with the 62nd FS for the past four years, it was an adjustment for him to get in the mindset of being a student again.

“I’m learning a lot from the Eglin instructors, and hope to bring back to Luke many of their lessons-learned,” Arki said. “I’m currently in the academic and simulator phase of training, and will begin flying the F-35 in early February.”

The former F-16 pilot is scheduled to return from training in March as he pioneers the future of flying the F-35 here at Luke.

“The battlefield dominance that the F-35 will bring to the table is eye-watering,” Arki said. “The aircraft is amazing.”

Arki was selected for this important role because of his ability to lead the way, Mann said.

“Luke pilots, along with their Eglin counterparts, will be on the leading edge of defining the tactical parameters of how the Air Force will fight with the F-35,” the 62nd FS commander said. “Captain Arki has a lot riding on his shoulders. On those shoulders rests the initial trajectory of the combat training effectiveness of the F-35 when it arrives at Luke. Arki brings the right mix of formal training unit instructional experience and tactical forward thinking.”




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


 
 

 
Senior Airmen Grace Lee

Thunderbolts celebrate wingman day

Senior Airmen Grace Lee Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, shoots a basket Nov. 7 in the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Luke commanders went up against the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns basketbal...
 
 

AF needs Airmen to maintain identity

Some of us may remember playing the pool game “Marco-Polo.” Some of us may still use this game to entertain our children at the pool today. One player closes his or her eyes and repeatedly shouts out “Marco” while the other players tread water and respond “Polo.” All the while, they attempt to shift quickly...
 
 

New evaluation system calls for accountability

It seems that everyone is overly concerned with the new evaluation system the Air Force is releasing. We should ask ourselves if it is really that scary to have an assessment which fits each of us in a more realistic way. This new system is going to hurt a lot of egos when they are...
 

 
Senior Airman 
Devante Williams

Luke conducts CBRNE exercise

Senior AirmanDevante Williams Members of the 56th Medical Group and Southwest Med Evac air ambulance team members prepare to air evacuate a simulated victim during the exercise Nov. 5 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was co...
 
 

News Briefs Nov, 14, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Scholarships The Air Force Aid Society is offering scholarships to dependent children of active duty, Title 10 Reserve, Title 32 AGR, retired, retired Reserve...
 
 

THUNDERBOLT OF THE WEEK

Staff Sgt. Dustin Rysavy-Hollis 56th Component Maintenance Squadron Aircrew Egress Systems Journeyman Home town: Apopka, Florida Years in service: Five Family: Father, Tim Hollis and mom, Roxann Rysavy Previous assignments: Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom Inspirations: My father is a huge inspiration; he works hard for what he gets Greatest feat: Performed a recovery...
 




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