Air Force

February 14, 2014

61st AMU gets new digs

Tags:
Senior Airman DEVANTE WILLIAMS
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit will be the first at Luke Air Force Base to house the
new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The first F-35 is scheduled to land soon at Luke.

Luke Air Force Base has long been known as fighter country. In addition to the F-16s that have been a staple of the West Valley for many years, the base will soon be receiving its first F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and training pilots on these jets will become part of the wing’s mission.

New jets come with new squadrons, and the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit will be the first F-35 AMU to be operational at Luke.

“Our mission at the 61st AMU is to stand up F-35 capability and operations at Luke, while establishing capability to train pilots,” said Capt. Joseph Langan, 61st AMU officer in charge. “The F-16s will remain a part of Luke for years to come, but over the next five years the F-35 mission will slowly start to increase.”

There will eventually be 144 aircraft and six F-35 squadrons at Luke. The F-35s haven’t arrived yet, but that’s not stopping the 61st AMU from preparing their unit.

“We expect to receive our first F-35 aircraft soon, but in the meantime, our main focus is on training,” Langan said. “About three-quarters of the AMU have no experience at all. So our main priority is getting the maintainers trained up.”

All maintainers will receive F-35 training, but the crew chiefs will receive it first.

“Our crew chiefs are scheduled to go through transition courses at Detachment 12, 372nd Training Squadron here on Luke,” said Staff Sgt. Arthur Verchot, 61st AMU F-35 crew chief. “The training will take 90 to 120 days for the entire course sequence.”

Once the crew chiefs are done with classes, they will work on an actual F-35 aircraft to get on-the-job training.

“A lot of the OJT will be difficult since the maintainers aren’t used to the new aircraft,” Verchot said. “But most of the training will be common to them such as servicing, launching and much more.”

Luckily for the 61st AMU, there are some maintainers from F-35 units who can lend a hand to the up-and-coming F-35 maintainers.

“We’re very lucky to have a dozen individuals in the AMU and the back shops that have prior F-35 experience,” Langan said. “We’re relying heavily on them to train the rest of the maintainers.”

The new aircraft come with a new building. The 61st AMU has moved into an existing building that was redesigned to accommodate the F-35.

“This entire building was renovated and several additions were put on,” Langan said. “It’s a great facility. It’s very rare that maintainers get a brand new building, so we’re very thankful to have this opportunity.”

With the new F-35 on its way, the 61st AMU is ready to hit the ground running.

“One thing I tell the guys is you have to be constantly thinking outside the box,” Langan said. “This isn’t just your standard F-16 AMU. We’re developing how F-35s will operate in the future. It’s a challenge but it’s exciting as well.”




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


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 

 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 
 

Enlisted promotion system changes continue

WASHINGTON — This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion. The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 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. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 




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