Featured Headlines

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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In Brief

Posted  November 3, 2017

Flightline feast The Luke Air Force Base Chapel is featuring a free flightline feast at 5:30 p.m. until the food runs out Dec. 7 behind Hangar 914. Roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, soup, rolls and more are included. Golf tournament The Luke Air Force Base Hockey Club is hosting a golf tournament at 7 a.m….

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Salutes & Awards

Dental squadron discovery leads to AETC award

Posted  November 3, 2017

Melissa Kunkel, 56th Dental Squadron expanded function dental assistant, earned the Air Force Medical Service’s August “Trusted Care Hero” award for Air Education and Training Command. Kunkel was recognized by Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, Air Force Surgeon General, for her discovery of unlabeled bottles containing clear liquid, leading to adjustments made in other dental clinics…

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Coutesy photo

WW II vet grateful for life of blessings

Posted  November 3, 2017

We hear the term ‘larger-than-life’ often, which can mean someone who led a life of adventure and was never afraid to try something new. Flay Randolph is such a person. He served in the Navy in World War II and joined at age 16. “My dad was reluctant to sign the enlistment papers because I…

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Salutes & Awards

Thunderbolt of the week: September and October

Posted  November 3, 2017

Sept. 13 Airman 1st Class Dorothy Zurlinden 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Armament technician Zurlinden has the characteristics of a true leader with her dedication constantly displayed on- and off-duty through her commitment to her fellow Airmen and unit. Sept. 30 Staff Sgt. Caitlin Carter 56th Fighter Wing Legal Office NCO in charge Carter has been…

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Air Force

Soldier, wife, mom says leaving hardest part of job

Posted  November 3, 2017

It was a typical cold, bleak winter morning in Germany. Dark clouds hovered just overhead, hugging the landscape. Soft, fluffy snowflakes drifted gently to the ground. Off in the distance, thin wisps of smoke floated to the sky and a faint smell of fireplaces burning permeated the air. I sharply inhaled the crisp air and…

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