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The 56th Fighter Wing’s mission is to train the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission ready warfighters. The wing, part of Air Education and Training Command, is home to more than 170 F-16 aircraft and 26 squadrons of which eight are F-16 fighter squadrons. The 56th Fighter Wing graduates more than 400 F-16 pilots and 470 crew chiefs annually.

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Luke Air Force Base News

Top Hats graduate 14 into combat air force

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 31, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Basic F-16 Course Class 13-FBG of the 310th Fighter Squadron is well on its way to being "Dressed to Kill" as combat-ready F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots. They graduated on March 21 and will continue the legacy of 310th FS-trained fighter pilots who have fought in every war or operation from World War II to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

The graduation culminates nine months of intense training and hard work by the 310th FS and 310th Aircraft Maintenance Unit team, the 56th Training Squadron and countless support agencies that ensured these Top Hat students could fully focus on their mission. This team contributed to 831 sorties, 319 hours of academics and 675 simulators to mold fighter pilots for the combat air force.
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Trip reduction not just silly survey

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 31, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Luke Air Force Base is conducting the annual trip reduction survey.

The Trip Reduction Program began in the late 1980s as part of the state of Arizona's response to a court ruling requiring greater efforts to reduce air pollution. One outcome was a statute that went into effect focusing on employers and schools. The 70 million commuter miles driven each weekday are a major source of air pollution.

"Luke AFB has been an integral part of the West Valley community for the past seven decades," said Jeff Rothrock, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental chief. "It is our community responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and seek ways to reduce pollution. In fact, maintaining an effective pollution prevention program is a tenant of the Luke Air Force Base Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health policy. Luke's participation in the survey is an important way to fulfill our own pollution prevention goals, as well as be a good neighbor."
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Resiliency: Transforming abuse victims from survivors to ‘thrivers’

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 31, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Resiliency is the key ingredient to shifting people's lives from survivors, or victims of domestic abuse, to "thrivers."

Recovery from domestic violence is based on the belief that healing from relationship violence is a social, spiritual, cultural and psychological process. Within the context of a supportive community, women and men can transition through stages of healing by creating an image of themselves and their future that is drastically different from their past. These progressive steps can draw them away from an identity rooted in trauma and violence toward a sense of wholeness entrenched in health, completeness and strength. It is critically important for the community here at Luke Air Force Base to understand the astonishing resiliency, courage and power it takes to thrive against domestic violence.
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Luke 1 highlights open house success, F-35 mission

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 28, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

At a series of commander's calls on March 21, Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, discussed the recent open house, the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter mission, and gave Airmen his assessment of how things are going in the wing.

The March 15 and 16 open house was a tremendous success, he said, and the estimated attendance of 360,000 people easily shattered the previous record of 250,000.
"I could not be happier with how you all did," he said. "It was a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and we did a great job of putting it on."
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Luke Experience: The Show Must Go On

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 28, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The movie theater on Luke Air Force Base has not hosted a movie in more than seven years. But that doesn't mean the theater has nothing to offer the base. Its hallowed stage is still in use, even if the screen isn't.

The Luke Experience theater group puts on live performances for Luke Thunderbolts. Consisting of active duty, retiree, dependents and base guests, the group provides entertainment for the base.

"We are an all-volunteer, nonprofit group," said Lacey Quattlebaum-McCalmon, 56th Force Support Squadron library technician and Luke Experience president. "We pay for everything ourselves. We do this because we love to perform."
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Airmen must revalidate dependents

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 21, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts.

This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen's basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air Force spends annually on BAH is fully auditable.

"When we say the Air Force is not audit compliant, that doesn't mean that money is missing or being misspent," said Doug Bennett, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial operations. "Generally, it means that we lack the required documentation for our spending to be considered auditable. In the case of BAH, we need Airmen's marriage certificates, birth certificates for children and divorce decrees that require child support properly documented by our finance offices to ensure we can audit $5.4 billion in Air Force spending."
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Marine awarded Purple Heart

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 21, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The Purple Heart is one of the most recognized awards given to military members injured in the line of duty. A marine recently received the award at the Marine Corps detachment on Luke Air Force Base for injuries sustained while fighting in Afghanistan.

He vividly recalls the events that led up to his injury and the difficult road to recovery that earned him one of the United States' oldest awards.

"I was on patrol with a squad from the 1st Light Armor Reconnaissance Battalion based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.," said Keith Darnall, a retired Marine Corps staff sergeant who served as a counter intelligence specialist. "We stopped at an area frequently visited to check its potential to be developed into a fortified position. I was holding a security position with my interpreter when I noticed a male Afghan watching us from the south side of the river."
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56th AMXS best in AETC maintenance effectiveness

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 21, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron won the Air Education and Training Command's Maintenance Effectiveness Award for the small unit category. What makes the squadron so unique is the number of squadrons it supports and the many missions it performs every year.

The 56th AMXS supports the 310th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, the 61st AMU, 62nd AMU, the 425th Fighter Squadron and the 21st FS.

While the 56th AMXS used to support the 61st, 62nd and 63rd fighter squadrons, the 61st and 63rd were deactivated and their jets were moved to another base. In October, the 61st FS and 61st AMU were reactivated to take care of the incoming F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jets. The first F-35s at Luke will be assigned to the 61st FS.
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56th LRS provides humanitarian airlift support

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 21, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron provided Operations Ukraine Company with support on Monday for a humanitarian airlift of a solar generator going to Gonaives, Haiti.

"Since the natural disaster in Haiti, the country is still recovering, and we are working with Operations Ukraine to help them," said Staff Sgt. Jason Salter, 56th LRS Air Terminal Operations assistant NCO in-charge.

Haiti was hit by an earthquake Jan. 12, 2010, near the town of Léogâne with the catastrophic magnitude of 7. At least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater were recorded by Jan. 24. An estimated three million people were affected by the earthquake.
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Governor Brewer, Undersecretary Fanning headline F-35 JSF unveiling at Luke AFB

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 19, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Luke Air Force Base celebrated the arrival of its first F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter jet with an unveiling ceremony on March 14. The event was attended by approximately 500 people, including elected officials, community leaders, representatives from partner nation air forces and many Luke Airmen.

"Today's ceremony embodies, to me, commitment," Undersecretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning said. "For the Air Force it represents our commitment to the F-35. This weapons system is critical for the Air Force continuing to provide decisive air superiority around the world. This fighter will dominate anything else, anywhere in the world that any other country produces."
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54th Fighter Group activates at Holloman AFB

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 13, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

More than 300 members of Team Holloman from in and around the Tularosa Basin and the Sacramento Mountains gathered March 11 to witness the future of the 49th Wing as the 54th Fighter Group, a tenant unit of the 56th Fighter Wing, was officially welcomed to the base in an activation ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.

Alamogordo Mayor Susie Galea, New Mexico Senators Bill Burt and Ron Griggs, New Mexico Representative Yvette Herrell, representatives from U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich's offices and from U.S. Representative Steve Pearce, Socorro County Commissioner Martha Salas, Brig. Gen. Joseph Harrington, 1st Armored Division deputy commanding general (Fort Bliss, Texas), Brig. Gen. Andrew Salas, New Mexico National Guard Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Juan Griego, New Mexico National Guard deputy adjutant General, and Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, were in attendance at the event.
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First F-35 Lightning II arrives at Luke AFB

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 11, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Escorted by two F-16s, Luke AFB's first F-35 Lightning II arrived a little after 11 a.m. this morning from the Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Tex.

"This is a day that has been a long time coming. It's the result of many years of hard work by countless people in the military and in the community," Col. John Hanna, 56th Operations Group commander, said at a press conference after the jet landed.

The jet is the first of 144 that will eventually be assigned to Luke. Approximately 16 U.S. jets are expected by the end of 2014, and the full contingent of aircraft should arrive incrementally over the next decade.
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Open house to reunite Tuskegee Airmen, P-51

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 7, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The U.S. military was racially segregated during World War II. Reflecting American society and law at the time, most black Soldiers and Sailors were restricted to labor battalions and other support positions. An experiment in the U.S. Army Air Forces, however, showed that given equal opportunity and training, black Americans could fly, command and support combat units as well as anyone.

The black fliers, known as "Tuskegee Airmen," served with distinction in combat and directly contributed to the eventual integration of the U.S. armed services, with the Air Force leading the way.
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Tips, info help guests make most of open house experience

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 7, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the "Lightning in the Desert" Air Show and Open House March 15 and 16. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

It is two days of nonstop entertainment, but a few tips can help make the experience more pleasurable for guests.

Traffic in the areas surrounding Luke Air Force Base will be heavy. There will be limited access between Camelback Road and Olive Avenue and between Reems Road and the Arizona Loop 101. Gates open at 9 a.m. and flying begins at 11 a.m. both days.
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EFMP helps special needs military families

This post was originally published by Luke Air Force Base - Luke Top Stories

March 7, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Life in the military can be stressful for active-duty personnel and their families. With change-of-duty stations and times of separation, this can be especially challenging for service members with dependents who have special needs.

To make the move from one base to another smooth, the Exceptional Family Member Program is available to assist military families with special needs children and spouses.

"The EFMP is important in many ways," said Marjorie Thompson, 56th Force Support Squadron family support coordinator. "It helps military families when they are moving by ensuring their next duty station has the medical support or the community support they need for their child or spouse. My role as the EFMP FS coordinator is to provide families with community outreach support and referrals."
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