Commentary

February 14, 2014

Luke has long history of good partnerships

Lt. Col. PAUL WILLINGHAM
21st Fighter Squadron

In today’s world, partnerships are more important than ever. They exist at all levels, from strategic to personal, and take on many different faces. The hope of all partnerships is a common goal in which all who are involved benefit through respective strengths that aid in overcoming weaknesses. There are usually many challenges that must be addressed and mitigated in order to ensure success of the partnership. Let’s take a look at a few examples that affect Luke Air Force Base.

Governmental and national partnerships have existed since the beginning of time. Many of these are perpetuated through the military avenue of national power. The United States has chosen Luke in the past, present and future as a training base for partners. German pilots trained here from 1957 to 1965 in various aircraft. Other North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries began sending their pilots to Luke in the mid-60s as well. Today, partnerships with Singapore and Taiwan are fortified at Luke. With the arrival in a few weeks of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Glendale will be home to partner Air Forces for decades.

These same partners will be the ones our president calls upon when future events threaten our common goals and interests. Neither the U.S. nor any of our partners alone can defeat these threats, but through the shared knowledge of individual strengths the threats can be overcome. As each of us brings unique capabilities to the table, it is imperative to know what those are and how they can best be utilized to achieve objectives. Along with those attributes each of us brings weaknesses that must be known and understood.

As is the case with any relationship, from the largest company mergers to things such as marriages, there is always give and take. Each side must occasionally capitulate to ensure the enterprise prospers for the long term. When partnerships fail to see the other side, especially when dealing with cultural differences, the strengths that formed the basis of the corporation are weakened. Luke, the city of Glendale, and the men and women of the 56th Fighter Wing have been great examples of partners that continually work together to achieve the partnership’s goals.




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