Local

March 28, 2014

Luke 1 highlights open house success, F-35 mission

Tags:
Capt. TRISTAN HINDERLITER
56th Fighter Wing public affairs

Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks at a commander’s call March 21. He discussed the recent open house and the new F-35 Lightning II mission. He also told Luke Airmen he was pleased with how the wing is meeting his expectations concerning mission, leadership and community.

At a series of commander’s calls on March 21, Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, discussed the recent open house, the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter mission, and gave Airmen his assessment of how things are going in the wing.

The March 15 and 16 open house was a tremendous success, he said, and the estimated attendance of 360,000 people easily shattered the previous record of 250,000.

“I could not be happier with how you all did,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and we did a great job of putting it on.”

The two-day open house and air show was the first in three years, since last year’s event was cancelled due to sequestration and budget constraints. Due to similar concerns this year, Luke was one of just three bases in Air Education and Training Command to have an open house in 2014.

The price tag in appropriated funds was approximately $285,000, Rothstein said. The event, however, returned about $250,000 back to the base in the form of nonappropriated funds, which subsidize 56th Force Support Squadron activities such as the library, hobby shop, Club Five Six, as well as the base pool – which the general said would be reopening this year.

Overall, the event was well worth it, Rothstein said.

“We got 360,000 people to be able to understand airpower,” he said. “More important, they had the opportunity to understand the great Airmen we’ve got, and to see their pride and professionalism. I think the return on investment was priceless.”

One of the big highlights of the open house was Luke Air Force Base’s first F-35 Lightning II, which arrived on March 10, and was available for the public to view as a static display on the ramp. The jet is the first of 144 F-35s – a total of six squadrons – that will eventually be assigned to the base.

“This is a big turning point for Luke,” the general said of the new F-35 mission. “This is a pivot. It’s not a sharp turn, but it’s a pivot that’s going to set the path for many years to come. Much like we’ve been flying F-16s at Luke for the last 30 years, I think we’ll be flying F-35s for at least that long as well. You’re here during that pivot, which I think is pretty cool.”

The base is expecting approximately 16 F-35s by the end of 2014, he said. There will also be F-35 partner nations and foreign military sales units training at Luke, similar to the two FMS F-16 squadrons currently at the base.

While F-35 flight operations will be starting soon, the next significant milestone will be when the base is ready to start training F-35 pilots, Rothstein said. An important step to be able to do that will be finishing construction of the Academic Training Center, which will house 12 high-tech F-35 simulators as well as briefing rooms and classrooms for instructors and students. The facility is on track to be completed in the fall of 2014.

“I hope by about this time next year, we will be formally training F-35 pilots, as we do in the F-16 now,” the general said.

Rothstein also gave Airmen his assessment of how the wing is meeting his expectations concerning mission, leadership and community – on the whole, very well, he said. He emphasized the importance of supervisors taking the time to mentor their Airmen and said the wing as a whole should reduce its tobacco usage, but he said that overall he was very pleased.

“Thank you for what you do for our nation,” he said. “Thank you for what you do for our Air Force and for this wing. I’m so proud and privileged to serve with you, to stand alongside you and to get the chance to lead you. I get to see the amazing things you do each and every day, and it fills my heart with pride.”




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


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

MDG appointment line upgrade Patients calling the 56th Medical Group at 623-856-2273 Wednesday afternoon to schedule an appointment may reach a busy signal and may have to call back if all booking agents are on the line with other callers. The queue function allowing patients to wait on hold for the next available booking agent...
 
 

Always improving …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Staff Sgt. Andrea Caldwell, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron avionics production supervisor, performs an acceptance inspection on an enhanced upgraded programmable display generator Feb. 12. The EUPDG allows the pilot to program up to twelve displays.
 
 

Pay dates increase for civilians in 2015

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Civilian employees will have 27 pay dates in 2015 compared to the usual 26, so some employees might need to adjust their Thrift Savings Plan contribution elections to receive the maximum agency matching contributions for 2015. The Internal Revenue Code imposes a limit each year on the amount that...
 

 
DT_MAIN-PHOTO-150126-F-VN822-025

RMO Stakeholders keep eye on sky Pt. 2

Susan Gladstein Christian Black, 56th Range Management Office geographer, replaces the antenna on the Bender Springs weather station at the Barry M. Goldwater Range East. The new multidirectional antenna allows for a 360-degree...
 
 
18_150211-F-NQ441-87V

Full service wash …

Tech. Sgt. William Rotroff, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-35 dedicated crew chief, rinses an F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter after it gets a scrubbing Feb. 11 at the Luke Air Force Base wash rack. Crew chiefs are trai...
 
 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke’s best shine

Senior Airman Devante Williams Misty Hyman, Olympic Gold Medalist, receives a standing ovation during her speech Feb. 13 at the 56th fighter Wing Annual Awards Banquet at the Wigwam. Hyman talked about the obstacles she faced d...
 




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