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.


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>