2nd Anniversary of F-35 at Luke Force Base

Senior Airman Devante Williams

Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, prepares March 18, 2015, for the first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter training sortie at Luke Air Force Base with Senior Airman Patrick Murphy, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief.

Norwegian Maj. Morten Hanche, 62nd Fighter Squadron F-35 student pilot, smiles Dec. 14 as he enters the cockpit to be the first Norwegian pilot to fly a Norwegian F-35 Lightning II.

Two F-35 Lightning II fighter jets fly overhead Aug. 26, 2014, at Luke Air Force Base. The fighter jets were approaching the runway to land, completing their 100th sortie.

Luke’s first F-35 Lightning II displays the Luke tail flash, “LF.”

The F-35 Lightning II JSF makes its first appearance March 10, 2014, at Luke Air Force Base. The aircraft was flown in directly from the Lockheed Martin factory at Fort Worth, Texas, by Col. Roderick Cregier, an F-35 test pilot stationed at Edwards AFB, California. Maj. Justin Robinson, 61st Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations, flies the 56th Operations Group flagship F-16 as he escorts Luke’s first F-35 to the base.

A four-ship formation of F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters fly over the 2015 Pro Bowl game Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The fly over was the first-ever for the F-35 JSF.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer addresses an audience of approximately 500 community leaders, elected officials, representatives from partner nation air forces and Luke Airmen during an unveiling ceremony March 14, 2014, at Luke Air Force Base for the 56th Fighter Wing’s first F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Brewer was joined on stage by Undersecretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, left, and Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Education and Training Command. “I am thrilled for all the military, for the residents of the West Valley and for our state,” the governor said. “I’m immensely proud to stand with you to welcome this incredible aircraft to the Valley of the Sun.”