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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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Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Caleb Worpel

Thunderbolts host 4th Annual Luke Mudder

Posted  November 6, 2017

Trenches of brown, muddy water, high-pressure hoses blasting contestants head-on, mud-soaked shoes and clothes, tire flips and a steep mud-slide – these are the sure signs of a grueling event commonly referred to as a mud run.

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Air Force

Around the Air Force: Nov. 6

Posted  November 6, 2017

On this look around the Air Force Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein speaks at the 2017 Thanks USA Supporting our Troops Gala, and the Air Force continues to support recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

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Narrow scope, improve force

Posted  November 3, 2017

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Our collective failure to lead boldly and teach others to do the same has led us toward the end of our runway. Airmen are watching Young military leaders vicariously learn the easiest path to promotion is through conservative decisions, and a single mistake may cost a career. In light…

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Three pounds, 11 ounces of resiliency

Posted  November 3, 2017

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — As military members we are inundated with training and speeches about resiliency. We hear it so often that it can get dull and become just another checked box on your records, until the message gets personally delivered in a place you’d never expect. In 2016 my husband and I…

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Airman assists veteran during medical crisis

Posted  November 3, 2017

After a long day of work, Senior Airman Keith Buckman, 923rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion technician, returned to his home to get some well-deserved rest. Later that night, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Buckman was awakened by a phone call from his friend, Mark Byrne, a 57-year-old Army veteran. “He was incoherent, and I couldn’t…

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