Air Force

May 2, 2014

Australian air force makes home at Luke

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Maj. Nathan Draper, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit participant maintenance liaison officer, poses April 22 in front of the 61st AMU. Draper is the first Royal Australian air force officer to arrive at Luke Air Force Base.

The buildup of F-35 operations at Luke Air Force Base has begun, and the Royal Australian air force will soon be Luke’s first international partner to train here on the F-35A Lightning II.

The 61st Fighter Squadron and 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit will house the RAAF personnel. The goal is to build a cohesive, working understanding of the F-35A program with Luke’s international partners for increased success in joint operations.

“It’s one more step in the long road to making this aircraft combat capable,” said Capt. Dan Langan, 61st AMU officer in-charge.

“The idea is in future conflicts nobody is going to be going at it alone. We’ll have our allies with us. The idea behind this aircraft was to make it easier to operate with our multinational partners, understand the same tactics, operate with the same logistics base, and figuring out how to do that starts right here. We are laying the foundation and it’s pretty exciting to be on the ground floor of that effort.”

Luke will act as ground zero for international partners to build their expertise in F-35A operations. The RAAF is the first partner to start their spin-up operations and are expecting their first aircraft by the end of this year.

“We are really pleased to come in and be the first partner to stand up operations here,” said squadron leader Maj. Nathan Draper, 61st AMU participant maintenance liaison officer and RAAF senior officer. “We are pretty lucky to get to come here first.”

The RAAF plans to eventually have 14 aircraft at Luke, with their goal to have a complete working picture of U.S. Air Force F-35 operations, then return to the home base they are setting up for the F-35.

“One of the biggest things I hope to achieve is the successful transition of our aircraft from the production line to the Luke training environment and the commencement of training operations alongside our Air Force colleagues,” Draper said. “If we can do that in a safe and efficient streamlined manner, leveraging the Air Force processes and systems, it will be a pretty good day.”

The RAAF expects their first pilot to arrive at Luke the beginning of next year. Draper is part of an acquisition project called Joint Strike Fighter Division, and he now considers himself a team member of the 61st AMU.

“We have a really good, close working relationship with our colleges in the Air Force, and we are looking forward to the next few years of joint operations here,” he said.

Luke’s relationship with the RAAF goes back a long way. Air Marshal Mark Binskin, soon to be the top Australian Defence Force officer, was stationed at Luke in the late 80s.

Follow-on squadrons, to include the 62nd, are scheduled to bring in additional partner countries including Italy, Norway, Canada, Turkey and the Netherlands.




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


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

Air Force News – July 25, 2014

Utah The combined efforts of Hill Air Force Base’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex and several Defense Department organizations culminated in the initial delivery of three of 24 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft to the government of Indonesia. The Ogden ALC refurbished this initial batch of F-16s, and is scheduled to deliver 21 more F-16s to the...
 

 

People First – July 25, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. Official highlights...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
PEDRO MOTA

MMA ramps up combat training

Airman 1st ClassPEDRO MOTA Team Ill Brasil brings a new style of martial arts to the base. The Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center now offers discipline specific martial arts training Monday through Friday at the Combat T...
 
 
Tech. Sgt.
LOUIS VEGA, Jr.

Reserve recruiter has heart of bull

Tech. Sgt.LOUIS VEGA, Jr. Master Sgt. Stanley Iakopo, Air Force Reserve Command recruiter with the 944th Fighter Wing, puts Joe Vigil, pro fighter and assistant trainer, in a hold while training at Peraza Boxing and Mixed Marti...
 




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