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Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Ridge Shan Local

Refugee to Airman

The memories are vivid for her. A recent trip to a Jamba Juice had stoked a particularly powerful one after a sip of a wheatgrass beverage. The fields around the camp were wheatgrass, and she could remember their taste, the way they felt against her skin as she ran through them in one of the few ways she could play.

Air Force photograph Local

Luke AFB remembers 9/11

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, four aircraft were hijacked and flown into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center, N.Y., the Pentagon, Va., and into a field in Stonycreek Township, Penn.


Thunderbolt Digital Edition – September 7, 2018

Welcome to the Luke AFB Thunderbolt Digital Edition! Sept. 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the death of Lt. Frank Luke, Jr., for whom Luke AFB is named.

ActionFamily Local

Thunderbolt takes action, saves three families

Powerful gusts waded between the rows of houses lining the street of a sunny suburb of Manteca, California. It was a hot July day and Tech. Sgt. Michael Cleary, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintainer, noted that it was unusually windy in his hometown. He had just left his aunt’s house, a stop along…

LukeWW1 Local

Luke to remember namesake’s death in WWI

Imagine thinking of Phoenix with only 5,000 people and only one high school, the Salt River with running water, Arizona State University being known as Tempe Normal, and horses and horse-pulled buckboards as the standard means of transportation. This setting was Phoenix in 1897, and on a warm May day of that year an aerial-combat…

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Courtesy photo

Legend in skies, classroom leads F-35 training

Posted  December 4, 2015

Skip Hopler was one of the first to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Now, he’s guiding the launch of F-35 Lightning II operations by training the next generation. Hopler was born to fly. With 3,800 hours in the cockpit as a U.S. Air Force pilot, his love of flying began at an early age like…

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STREET BEAT December 18, 2015

Posted  December 17, 2015

The 56th Security Forces Squadron handled the following incidents Dec. 7 through 13: Tickets Security forces issued citations for 26 moving violations. Traffic-related incidents Dec. 10: Security forces responded to a report of a minor vehicle accident involving a government-owned vehicle and a fixed object at the parking lot of Bldg. 948. There were no…

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Courtesy photo

TSgt’s personal best wins 1st place at Mr. Olympia

Posted  December 2, 2016

A programs monitor with the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron received first-place at the Mr. Olympia Pro Powerlifting Invitational Sept. 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. Tech. Sgt. Benjamin O’Brien bested the competition at the invitation-only, single-ply, international event held once a year. “The Olympia is an elite-level competition for powerlifting,” O’Brien said….

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Health & Safety

Zika: Spread of disease preventable

Posted  August 4, 2016

Chikungunya, dengue and Ebola are not names of exotic cuisine but rather diseases. Joining the array of names at the forefront is the Zika virus. Taking a closer look at what the virus is and how it is transmitted will help Arizona residents assist in preventing the spread of Zika. Zika is not a new…

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AETC welcomes new commander

Posted  December 1, 2017

Sean Worrell Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, officially addresses the men and women of the First Command for the first time as their commander during a change of command ceremony Nov. 16 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Kwast, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, assumed command after spending…

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