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Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for the first ever JSF training deployment. The Las Vegas skyline is in the background. The 56th…

Senior Airman
Marcy Copeland Local

Historic landmark’s message renewed

Senior AirmanMarcy Copeland The freshly painted Air and Education Training Command shield gives new life to the historic water tower. The water tower received a facelift with “WELCOME TO FIGHTER COUNTRY” and the AETC shield being repainted to represent the Luke mission. As commuters traveled the base and Litchfield Road, all could see the bucket…

Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE World

Earth Day: Luke Airmen get creative to save volts

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE A Life Fitness hybrid bike’s display is shown April 14 in the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center. Thunderbolts are encouraged to use this bike which saves the base energy since it uses 75 percent less energy once the user hits a certain revolutions-per-minute range. The Earth’s ocean is being polluted…

Senior Airman Jason Colbert Local

A new ‘Wolf’ … Col. Jeremy Sloane

An Air Force Academy cadet’s dream came true after graduation and earning his wings in 1996. The next stop was Luke Air Force Base where he successfully completed his F-16 Fighting Falcon Initial Qualification Course in 1997.

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Airmen reach terminal velocity

Courtesy photo Second Lt. Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Community Relations chief, takes in the expansive view after the chute was pulled at 3,000 feet. Luke Air Force Base Airmen were chosen to tandem jump with the Wings of Blue U.S. Air Force Parachute Team for their accomplishments during service. Terminal velocity is…


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Air Force

The greatest generation …

Posted  March 15, 2013

This photo was taken within days of the mission, which was one of the most successful ever flown. The mission was flown by the 61st, 62nd and 63rd fighter squadrons. Two years prior they’d flown their first combat mission led by Lt. Col. Lucian Dade. Eegbeck Aerodrome was located just south of the Denmark border…

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Local

Luke Field rises out of desert

Posted  March 15, 2013

The Battle of Britain began Aug. 8, 1940, and the same day, President Franklin Roosevelt directed the military to start producing 12,000 pilots annually. In response to that order, the Army Air Corps conducted feasibility studies for the construction of eight new air fields. Phoenix City Manager Donald Scott announced the War Department had approved…

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Air Force

56th Fighter Wing has boast-worthy history

Posted  March 15, 2013

The 56th Fighter Wing, one of the most highly decorated aviation units in history, traces its heritage to the 56th Pursuit Group which first activated on Jan. 15, 1941, at Savannah Air Base, Ga. The unit was redesignated a fighter group and equipped with the P-47 Thunderbolt when it was reassigned to England. The 56th…

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Air Force

D-Day threat …

Posted  March 15, 2013

Courtesy photo Maj. Lucian Dade Jr., 62d Fighter Squadron, flew this P-47D-25 with a bubble canopy in June 1944. Shown is Tail Number 42-26417, painted with the D-Day paint scheme. Dade later commanded the 56th Fighter Group. He also commanded the 3600th Maintenance and Supply Group in the mid 1950s at Luke Air Force Base.

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Local

Local Briefs March 15, 2013

Posted  March 15, 2013

Assumption of command Maj. Kathryn Roman will assume command of the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron in a ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday in Hangar 485. LOSC raffle The Luke Officers Spouses Club will be hosting a Bunny Basket Raffle at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Club Five Six. For more information or to RSVP, email lukeOSCReservations@gmail.com…

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Salutes & Awards

Thunderbolt of the Week

Posted  March 15, 2013

Senior Airman Robin Hansen 56th Dental Squadron Dental assistant Hometown: Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. Years in service: Three Family: Husband, Senior Airman Randall Lee Hansen II Previous assignments: Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England Goals: Become a pediatric dentist in the Air Force Greatest feat: Winning Air Force-level 2011 Airmen of the Year for Dental Off-duty interests:…

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Local

Fighting Falcon hails proud heritage at Luke

Posted  March 15, 2013

Courtesy photo Tail number 78-0081, the first F-16 Fighting Falcon permanently assigned to Luke Air Force Base, sits on the flightline Dec. 6, 1982. The F-16 Fighting Falcon has served the U.S. Air Force as one of the world’s premier fighter aircraft, and for nearly a quarter of a century Luke Air Force Base has…

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Air Force

World War I ace, hero Luke AFB namesake

Posted  March 15, 2013

Courtesy photo 2nd Lt. Frank Luke, who was second only to Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, referred to as the Ace of Aces of American fliers overseas, poses next to one of three German observation balloons he brought down in 30 minutes in 1918. America’s second ranking ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient,…

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Air Force

F-16 bread, butter of LAFB for 30 years

Posted  March 15, 2013

Mission The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the U.S. and allied nations. Features In an air combat role, the F-16’s maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly…

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Air Force

Air Force News

Posted  March 15, 2013

Oct. 21: Fighter ‘Brain’ fully automatic, flies and fights The Air Force and Hughes Aircraft Co. have announced the development of an electronics system which flies interceptor planes automatically “from take off to touch down” and accurately could seek out enemy bombers before they struck American cities. The pilot’s only function in the new, almost…

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