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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

Ammo builds warheads for mission

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

June 27, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Speak softly and carry a big stick ... or a rocket launcher.

Luke Airmen expended 11,491 bombs, 611,156 20mm bullets and 1,486 rockets during the last fiscal year. Luke Air Force Base plays an important role in the training of dropping, building and handling 93 percent of the Air Education and Training Command's munitions and 21 percent of the munitions in the entire Air Force.

"Munitions loaded onto aircraft are expended over various training ranges at a safe distance from any people or property," said 1st Lt. Sarah Dugan, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron munitions assistant flight commander. "Apart from the munitions that are loaded onto the aircraft, we also maintain explosive items for other units across the base such as 56th Security Forces Squadron and 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal."

Training is critical when workin
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How’s your jet engine running?

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

June 27, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

With a dry weight of 3,218 pounds, a length of 191.15 inches, a diameter of 44.60 inches and a max fuel flow of 49,964 pounds per hour, the F-16 Fighting Falcon F100-220 engine is a marvel to see when firing during take-off but jaw-dropping when viewed by itself awaiting maintenance.

This massive engine is housed in the body of the F-16, which is the main aircraft flown at Luke Air Force Base. Luke is an Air Education and Training Command base, so pilots learning to fly receive their training here, but who makes that engine turn over every time a pilot "turns the key" in the cockpit? The 56th Component Maintenance Squadron is who.

The 56th CMS is responsible for the inspection, repair and scheduled maintenance of aircraft propulsion, avionics, low altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night pods, pneudraulics, electrical-environmental, egress and fuel systems used by more
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OSS defeats FSS in 3-game volleyball match

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

June 27, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The 56th Force Support Squadron came out in full swing in the beginning of the first game against the 56th Operation Support Squadron June 16. Connor Noland, 56th OSS team leader, regrouped his team and got them back on track.

"The first game was full of mistakes we made," he said. "We weren't communicating as we should, and we failed to set up the ball correctly. We needed to switch up our tactics to attack mode and bring the pressure to them."

FSS took the victory in the first game with a lop-sided score of 25-17. Going into the second game, Noland and his team followed their tactic and went on full attack mode. FSS was in defense mode, but they could not handle the fast pace action by OSS and were defeated 25-17.

Going into the third and final game of the match, OSS had the momentum on their side.

"With us winning the
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Team Luke welcomes new commander

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Luke Airmen welcomed a new wing commander Friday morning, as Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus took command of the 56th Fighter Wing from outgoing commander Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein.

Pleus, an F-16 command pilot with more than 2,300 flying hours including combat time in operations Desert Fox and Southern Watch, comes to Luke from the Pentagon, where he served as executive officer to the chief of staff of the Air Force.

He commissioned in 1989 through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. This is his second tour
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Heat illness summer threat to uninitiated

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

For Airmen living on Luke Air Force Base, being told that "the summer is hot here" is akin to being told "the water is wet." It's a no-brainer. But ask these same Airmen what injuries can come from the summer heat and many of them may shrug or give the "deer in the headlights" stare. With the 101 Days of Summer upon us, knowing how to be safe in the sun will help ensure a Thunderbolts have a fun summer.

With the summer heat come easily preventable heat injuries.

"More accurately, they should be called 'heat illnesses,'" said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Cindy Harris, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron medical director and flight commander.

"Heat injuries run the spectrum from a simple rash all the way to the most severe, which is heat stroke," she said. "It can be very difficult to tease out differences on this spectrum."

The start of th
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Airman defeats high blood pressure, cholesterol, weight with healthy living

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The out-of-shape Airman was overweight, had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart issues and couldn't run farther than 100 yards without passing out. He never thought that just a few years later he would be a competitive natural body builder, personal trainer and nutritionist.

Senior Master Sgt. Dave DeRemer, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs superintendent, found a healthy way to take his mind off the stress of his 2013 divorce.

"I just threw myself into the gym to take my mind off it all," he said. "During that time I lost a lot of weight, started getting into shape and my body started transforming like I had never imagined."

Since the beginning of his transformation, DeRemer has gone from 205 pounds and 39 percent body fat to 154 pounds and 3.8 percent body fat, a percent he maintains while preparing for competition.

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Taking Fido when PCSing abroad means planning

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

There are many things to plan for when moving overseas, and if travel includes taking pets, the first step is to know what the legal requirements are for the destination country.

Every country has regulations for the importation of animals. This may include microchip and vaccination requirements, testing for levels of rabies protection, quarantine periods, and treatment for parasites and ticks. The base veterinary clinic keeps information sheets for the most common overseas permanent-change-of-station locations for Airmen to pick up.

Be aware that for some destinations, such as Hawaii or Japan, the process should start in advance of the move by as much as six months.

Another source of information is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/. The coun
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Base VBS considered huge success

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The laughter of 162 children filled the base chapel along with music June 2 through 6 for the 56th Fighter Wing Chapel Vacation Bible School 2014 at Luke Air Force Base.

"Wilderness Escape, Where God Guides and Provides" was the theme this year and its success depended on lots of resources.

"You need a team of dedicated volunteers who are willing to give their time and energy to ensure the faith of the children involved is nourished and strengthened," said Jesse Lagang, 56th Medical Support Squadron technical supervisor and VBS volunteer. "The initial planning for VBS 2014 began in June 2013 when the theme was selected."

The planning paid off, as 61 volunteers came together to teach the children to trust God, which was the recurring theme throughout the week.

"Throughout the week the main character, Moses, portrayed by A
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Sports physical day aimed at kid fitness

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

For a parent, keeping a child healthy can be a task. Luckily, the folks at the Luke Pediatrics clinic agree and strive to help.

The 56th Medical Operations Squadron Pediatrics clinic will host a Fitness and Sports Physical Day at 9 a.m. July 26. Children ages 6 through 16 years are invited to participate.

"It will be a whole day geared toward children's health and fitness," said Senior Airman Miguel Rodriguez, 56th MDOS medical technician. "We will offer nutritional classes, exercise classes and classes detailing preventive measures."

Each child must have an appointment to participate in the fitness event. This will also fulfill the need for a sports physical for those who want to play a sport during the summer and upcoming school year.

"This day avoids parents having to take time off work or from summer activities," said
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Wheels in sky keep turning

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

June 23, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The 56th Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Wheel and Tire shop has recently taken on the task of tire maintenance for the new F-35 Lightning II jet.

Luke Air Force Base received its first F-35 back in March to begin training on the fifth-generation stealth fighter. As the second base in the Air Force to receive the F-35, Luke's wheel and tire shop has begun training as well on the maintenance of the F-35's tires.

Being a new and larger jet, the parts on the plane are larger as well. With several bases outsourcing their aircraft tire maintenance needs, Luke's wheel and tire shop cuts the spending and potentially saves millions of dollars every year using a small crew composed of military service members and one civilian to maintain the tire needs of more than 100 fighter jets, including those of the two foreign military squadrons on base.

It takes a four-m
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309 FS stands down, piano goes up in flames

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

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

Engulfing a 100-year-old piano in flames would normally be frowned upon, but on this day Airmen encouraged pilots to set it ablaze.

The 309th Fighter Squadron invited Airmen from the 56th Operations Group to a block party May 30 at Luke Air Force Base.

"The 56th OG block party was held as a culmination of the 309th FS stand down," said Capt. Clayton Bailey, 309th FS pilot. "It was a small celebration of the 309th's long history."

During the block party several events took place, but this one stood out from the rest. A piano was burned to ashes.

"The story behind this tradition is when a pilot did not return from a mission, his or her belongings and uniform were placed on a piano while various songs would be played," Bailey said. "Somewhere along the line, one of the celebrations got out of hand and resulted in the piano b
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LRS Airman finds passion in honor guard

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

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

Few Airmen are chosen to represent the Air Force. Fewer are chosen to lead those Airmen. One of these Airmen is Master Sgt. Keith Cooper, 56th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard superintendent.

Cooper was born Oct. 26, 1973 and joined the Air Force Aug. 18, 1992, continuing his family's legacy of military service.

"It's a family tradition," Cooper said. "Everybody in my family joins the military, whether it's the Air Force, Marines or the Navy."

His current job in the Air Force is with the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron as an equipment custodian. He found out about the base honor guard superintendent slot opening from Luke's base paper, the Thunderbolt. The rest, as they say, is history.

"I saw the ad in the base newspaper and put in an application for it immediately," Cooper said. "I was sched
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Students learn ins, outs of flying

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

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

The recent air show at Luke Air Force Base may have left thousands of children with dreams of one day flying, but some students are taking their dreams to new heights.

More than a dozen students ages 12 to 18 visited Luke Air Force Base May 30 as part of the Aviation Career Education Camp sponsored by the Arthur-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

"We sent applications to the local schools," said Ben Bruce, 56th Fighter Wing Safety Ground Safety manager and Tuskegee Airmen Inc. chapter historian. "Kids with an interest in aviation were selected to participate. The camp is a full week and introduced the children to a variety of aeronautical careers including air traffic control and maintenance operations."

The goal of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. is to provide opportunities for children to gain the skills needed to be successful in the careers the
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Airman fitness includes social aspect

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

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

The word "social" can be defined as pertaining to, devoted to or characterized by friendly companionship or relations. "Fitness" is the condition of being physically in shape and healthy or the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.

Put the two together and "social fitness" can be defined as the ability to engage in healthy social networks that promote overall well-being and optimal performance. Social fitness is a critical piece of the comprehensive fitness puzzle.

As people shift in and out of various relationships and roles in life, it is imperative they effectively communicate and work together. In recent months this shift has been a reality for many Airmen leaving the military.

One Airman in particular came to the 56th FSS Airman & Family Readiness Center distraught over being "forced" out of the Air Force and wondere
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Aircrew flight equipment Airmen keep pilots on mission

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

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

The Airmen of Luke Air Force Base work tirelessly to ensure the safety of each mission launched from the base. While it's rare for something to go wrong, if something were to happen, a pilot would want to know that the emergency equipment such as the ejection seat, parachute and survival kit are working properly.

The 56th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment Airmen maintain and repair pilots' equipment so they can focus on the mission and come home safely at the end of the day.

"AFE is one of those support functions that, without it, the mission would fail," said Lt. Col. Keith Rockow, 56th OSS commander. "AFE personnel help provide our fighter pilots with a combat advantage by maintaining our G-suits, night vision googles, and helmet-mounted cueing systems in top notch condition."

The equipment is essential to ensure a safe flight. <
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