The surrounding landscape has changed, most of the original buildings have come and gone, and the aircraft and mission have evolved over the years, but one towering symbol of Fighter Country at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, remains much the same. It’s the tower beside Litchfield Road which bears the words “Welcome to Fighter Country,” that has become an iconic symbol of Luke AFB and the mission of the 56th Fighter Wing to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen.
Constructed in 1941, the water tower is one of Luke AFB’s original structures from WWII, and a landmark for the base years before houses and businesses popped up in the area and GPS travel became the norm. The tower could be seen as people left the cities and drove beyond the farm fields to Luke Air Force Base.
Arizona’s harsh summers with powerful sandstorms and increased temperatures have faded the paint over the years, but repairs and maintenance have kept up the community landmark welcoming visitors to Fighter Country.
With its 500,000-gallon capacity, the water tower provides potable water to the east of the Maj. Troy Gilbert Memorial Bridge, and it serves as a connecting point for Luke and the surrounding community. The tower is also cost effective, using gravity to provide the pressure needed to supply water to the base.
The water tower has withstood the test of time as a permanent fixture of the base for more than 80 years and provides a permanent statement that this is where Luke Air Force Base is — and this is our mission.