Local

June 27, 2014

Team Luke welcomes new commander

Tags:
Capt. TRISTAN HINDERLITER
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks to the audience after assuming command of the wing at a ceremony on Luke Air Force Base on June 20. The general is accompanied at Luke by his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons and daughter: Jared, 16; Jack, 11; and Jamie, 14. “Luke is a family, and Jennifer and I are proud to be part of it,” he said.

Luke Air Force Base Airmen welcomed a new wing commander June 20, as Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus took command of the 56th Fighter Wing from outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein.

Pleus, an F-16 command pilot with more than 2,300 flying hours including combat time in operations Desert Fox and Southern Watch, comes to Luke from the Pentagon, where he served as executive officer to the chief of staff of the Air Force.

He commissioned in 1989 through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. This is his second tour as a wing commander, having previously commanded the 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base, Korea, from 2011-2012.

The general is accompanied by his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons and daughter: Jared, 16; Jack, 11; and Jamie, 14.

“We are here at a great time – a crossroads if you will – as we transition from the Viper to the F-35, the most capable fighter aircraft ever built,” Pleus said. The challenge, he said, is simple: how do we build fifth-generation fighter pilots?

“We have to think differently on how we’re going to train,” he added. “We need to innovate. I need to hear your ideas on how we can do that better.”

Training fighter pilots is a family business, and that’s a huge part of what makes Airmen successful, the general said.
“Luke is a family, and Jennifer and I are proud to be part of it,” he said.

The ceremony was officiated by Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz, director of intelligence, operations and nuclear integration at Air Education and Training Command headquarters.

“General Pleus and Jennifer are fantastic folks,” he said. “We only send the best to Luke. This is arguably the hardest time at the 56th Fighter Wing as it transitions to the F-35 and we start to bring on more Foreign Military Sales partners.”

Keltz also praised Rothstein for his leadership during his tenure at the wing, presenting him with a Legion of Merit award.

Under Rothstein’s command, the wing trained more than 800 fighter pilots. Rothstein oversaw the transition of one F-16 squadron to Holloman AFB, New Mexico, the activation of the 54th Fighter Group there, and the beddown of the F-35 Lightning II at Luke.

“I’m so glad that we got to see the arrival of the first F-35 together – that was truly an historic event,” Rothstein told the audience of community leaders, elected officials and Airmen.

“I cannot be more proud to have been the 56th Fighter Wing commander,” he said. “You all are great. Airpower is not about the aircraft, it’s about the Airmen we see in this room. It is our intellectual rigor and our heart and soul that make this the best Air Force the world has ever seen.”

In a curious coincidence, Pleus’s mother was born in Issoudun, France, the same village where Lt. Frank Luke – the namesake of Luke AFB – did his aviation training in 1918 before being killed in action only a few months later.

Pleus’ mother lived in Issoudun until she was 21 years old, when she met his father, Edward, a truck driver in the U.S. Air Force.

“Issoudun was a special place not just for Frank Luke and Luke AFB, it’s also a very special place to me,” Pleus said. “I just never knew the connection.”




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


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

56th FW has new mission

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, left, 56th Fighter Wing commander, and Charles Lilly, right, lithograph artist, present the new 56th Fighter Wing lithograph May 21 during the 56th FW change of mission cer...
 
 

Develop your replacement

Although it might be a hard pill to swallow in today’s self-esteem charged, participation-trophy society, we are all replaceable. I often say of the Air Force’s perpetual personnel moves, we are all transitional employees so we should subscribe to the “hit by a bus” theory of leadership development. In other words, if you don’t show...
 
 

Balance

It is obvious, since the beginning of time, society in general has become more and more advanced. Today’s Air Force is absolutely no exception. As Airmen our mission is simple — to fly, fight and win. However, when we look at the essence of what each one of us do in the Air Force, that...
 

 
Senior Airman James Hensley

A mother’s right …

Senior Airman James Hensley Senior Airman Marcy Copeland, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, closes a curtain to the nursing room May 13 at the 56th Force Support Squadron Child Development Center on Luke Air For...
 
 

News Briefs May 29, 2015

Leadership Gold Members of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence are visiting Luke to present Dr. John Maxwell’s Leadership Gold, which grows leaders and fosters teamwork, at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Navy Operational Support Center, Bldg. 300, Room 412. The event is open to all military and civilian service members...
 
 

35 senior airmen graduate ALS

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 35 senior airmen May 14 from class 15-4. The award winners are: John L. Levitow Award: Noah Bolton, 56th Operations Support Squadron Distinguished graduates: Jared Clark, 56th OSS; Jacob Gagnon, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron; and Rodney Yolangco, 56th OSS Commandant’s Award: Jared Clark, 56th OSS Academic Achievement...
 




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