Defense

May 5, 2014

Australian air force makes home at Luke AFB

The buildup of F-35 operations at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., has begun, and the Royal Australian air force will soon be Luke’s first international partner to train here on the F-35A Lightning II.

The 61st Fighter Squadron and 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit will house the RAAF personnel. The goal is to build a cohesive, working understanding of the F-35A program with Luke’s international partners for increased success in joint operations.

“It’s one more step in the long road to making this aircraft combat capable,” said Capt. Dan Langan, the 61st AMU officer in-charge. “The idea is, in future conflicts nobody is going to be going at it alone. We’ll have our allies with us. The idea behind this aircraft was to make it easier to operate with our multinational partners, understand the same tactics, operate with the same logistics base, and figuring out how to do that starts right here. We are laying the foundation and it’s pretty exciting to be on the ground floor of that effort.”

Luke will act as ground zero for international partners to build their expertise in F-35A operations. The RAAF is the first partner to start their spin-up operations and are expecting their first aircraft by the end of this year.

“We are really pleased to come in and be the first partner to stand up operations here,” said squadron leader Maj. Nathan Draper, the 61st AMU participant maintenance liaison officer and RAAF senior officer. “We are pretty lucky to get to come here first.”

The RAAF plans to eventually have 14 aircraft at Luke, with their goal to have a complete working picture of U.S. Air Force F-35 operations, then return to the home base they are setting up for the F-35.

“One of the biggest things I hope to achieve is the successful transition of our aircraft from the production line to the Luke training environment and the commencement of training operations alongside our Air Force colleagues,” Draper said. “If we can do that in a safe and efficient streamlined manner, leveraging the Air Force processes and systems, it will be a pretty good day.”

The RAAF expects their first pilot to arrive at Luke the beginning of next year. Draper is part of an acquisition project called Joint Strike Fighter Division, and he now considers himself a team member of the 61st AMU.

“We have a really good, close working relationship with our colleagues in the Air Force, and we are looking forward to the next few years of joint operations here,” he said.

Luke’s relationship with the RAAF goes back a long way. Air Marshal Mark Binskin, soon to be the top Australian Defence Force officer, was stationed at Luke in the late ’80s.

Follow-on squadrons are scheduled to bring in additional partner countries including Italy, Norway, Canada, Turkey and the Netherlands.




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




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>