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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

LRS adds white R-11 refueling truck to fleet

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

December 5, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron recently added a new fuel truck to its fleet designed to improve mission effectiveness and safety on the flightline.

It's not really a new fuel truck, but an old fuel truck with its tank painted white. Affectionately called "Big Green" by LRS Airmen, the new white tank requires a little getting used to. The reason for the white paint job? It will keep fuel in the tankers cooler.

"We painted the refuelers white to reduce the temperature of fuel being delivered to the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter," said Senior Airman Jacob Hartman, 56th LRS fuels distribution operator. "The F-35 has a fuel temperature threshold and may not function properly if the fuel temperature is too high, so after collaborating with other bases and receiving waiver approval from AETC, we painted the tanks white."
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F-35 arrival ignites memories for retired fighter pilot

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

December 5, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

F-15 pilot training began at Luke Air Force Base 40 years ago. With the arrival of the F-35, one retired fighter pilot reflects on his time as an F-15 Strike Eagle test pilot at Luke and his vision for the future of the Air Force.

"The F-15 was a great advancement in technology and performance in every respect," said retired Col. Richard Toliver, author and motivational speaker. "We made a quantum-jump with the F-15 in 1973. Today, young pilots are flying the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter. As a retired fighter pilot, I'm delighted to see our country continue to advance in technology to ensure our young men and women are provided the best equipment and capabilities to do the mission of the Air Force and the country."
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Chief serves beyond active-duty

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

December 5, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

John Burden retired as a chief master sergeant more than 18 years ago, but he never stopped serving his country and community.

"As I was parking at the Veteran's Association clinic, I saw a gentleman across the street get out of an old rickety van," Burden said. "He was an amputee on crutches and struggling to get his old beat-up wheelchair out of the back."

Burden parked and immediately walked over to help a fellow veteran.

"To be honest, his wheelchair belonged inside of a garbage can," Burden said. "I said to him, 'Wouldn't you like to have a better wheelchair?' He looked at me and told me there was no way he could afford a new one. So, I told him I knew I guy who could help him out."
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Stay fit through season of celebrations

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

December 5, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Tis the season for family get-togethers, office holiday parties and cookie drives. What do these events have in common? Food ... lots of food. As people load their plates with cakes and pies, getting a good workout drops on the priority list.

Why do people fall into this annual holiday trap?

Aaron Anderson, 56th Medical Group registered dietitian, said most people attend holiday gatherings with the main focus on food. His recommendation is to change that mindset.

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Keep holiday sweet tooth in check

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

December 5, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Assorted sweets are a big attraction on display in stores and are advertised in television commercials. Despite the effort to escape purchasing them and knowing they're not healthy, people still tend to crave, buy and gobble them up.

On top of the negative impact these treats have on health and the waistline, over-indulging in these sugary treats can also affect teeth?

When eating holiday goodies, the body undeniably wants more of these empty calories, which in turn can be very harmful to teeth. The main reason is the sugars and fermented carbohydrates in sweets adhere to the tooth surface. When that occurs, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria in the mouth to thrive.
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PMEL vital to AF mission

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

December 5, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

To begin training the world's greatest F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter pilots here at Luke, working jets are necessary. To have jets that work, Airmen who are maintenance and repair experts are needed to take care of the jets. Airmen who fix the jets need tools that are in working order, and that's where precision measurement equipment laboratory Airmen step in.

"We calibrate equipment for just about everyone on base, not just for maintenance," said Tech. Sgt. Javario Mathis, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron PMEL section chief. "Basically, if the job takes any type of quantitative measurement or reading, they usually have equipment that's calibrated by us. For example, when you go stand on the scale for your physical fitness test, you know that number is accurate because we calibrated that scale."
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Top Hats graduate 15 into combat air force

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

December 4, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Basic F-16 Course Class 14-CBG 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 December 5th and will continue the legacy of 310th FS-trained fighter pilots who have fought in every war 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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ANG invites Luke Airmen, families to historic muster

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

December 4, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

The Arizona National Guard, as part of its first-ever community open house, is scheduled to muster in a mass military formation on the field at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe at 11 a.m. Sunday -- and everyone is invited.

The Arizona National Guard Muster and Community Expo will honor the service and sacrifice of Arizona's military families during the last 13 years of conflict and will recognize the state's military support community.

"Throughout wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the longest in American history, service members have placed their personal lives, and often civilian careers, on hold to go into harm's way to defend freedom," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General of Arizona. "I am proud of each Soldier and Airman who voluntarily serves our state and nation, and the time has come to recognize them."
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Consistency, intensity key to run score

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

December 4, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Whether you're training to get a 100 or just hoping to pass, almost everyone has room to improve their physical fitness test run time.

The cardio fitness portion of the PFT, better known as the run test, makes up 60 percent of an Airman's overall score.

"Lack of consistency and intensity in training is the main cause of poor run scores," said Marlyn Shultz, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron exercise physiologist. "Air Force members should run on a regular and consistent basis and not be afraid to push themselves."
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Thunderbolts celebrate wingman day

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

November 18, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." -- Phil Jackson

Luke Thunderbolts came together to observe wingman day in a unique way -- watching the Phoenix Banner Wheelchair Suns basketball team dominate Luke Air Force Base commanders during two basketball games Nov. 7 in the Bryant Fitness Center.

The event opened with a video message from Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander.

"Our goal here today is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters whole-person fitness," Pleus said. "Our focus is on the well-being and care for ourselves, each other and our families so we can be more resilient to the many challenges military service brings."
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Luke conducts CBRNE exercise

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

November 18, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Luke Air Force Base conducted a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear High-Yield Explosives exercise Nov. 5. The simulated scenario involved a terrorist causing an explosion during the National Football League Pro Bowl practice event and role players acting as if they were hurt by the blast.

In this exercise, the CBRNE dangers included radiological materials and explosives. The particular threat during this exercise was simulated radiation from a radiological dispersal device, or more commonly known as a dirty bomb.
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Airmen’s Attic has something for everyone

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

November 18, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

For many first-term Airmen, it can be difficult to be on their own. Being able to afford basic necessities doesn't always come easy on an Airman's income, even more so for those with dependents. Most Air Force bases have a place where Airmen can find some goods and help ease the strain on their budget.

"The Airman's Attic is a nonprofit center that supports all active-duty service members E-5 and below," said Master Sgt. Timothy Linder, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuels section chief. "Active-duty military members, and those in the Reserve and National Guard who are on orders, can pick up items for no charge."
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Luke Airman, Family Readiness Center hosts fall job fair

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

November 18, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Businesses from across the region gathered to participate in a job fair hosted by the 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center. The event was open to active-duty service members, dependents and retirees Nov. 5 in Club Five Six.

The job fair included more than 60 employers including the Arizona Department of Revenue, the Social Security Administration, Penhall Company, Empire CAT, Lockheed Martin, Walmart Stores Inc., Verizon Wireless, Tucson Police Department, Manpower U-Haul International, Hospice of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
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Eat our dust: T-Bolts compete in Ragnar

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

November 18, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

Three teams from the 56th Operations Group made a big showing at this year's Ragnar Trail Relay Race. Out of 430 teams, the 309th Fighter Squadron Mad Mallards placed 4th. Also finishing strong were the 61st FS Top Dogs and the 309th FS Wild Ducks.

The race began Nov. 7 and continued to Saturday morning. Teams of eight runners covered 120 miles through McDowell Mountain Park in a relay that tested their endurance and mental strength individually as runners, but most importantly as a team.
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Injured EOD Airman returns to fuller life

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

November 10, 2014 in Arizona, Luke Air Force Base by clevine

In an instant, he went from living his dream to being utterly destroyed on a dusty road in Iraq. An improvised explosive device exploded about two feet from his face, throwing him about 20 feet and leaving him unrecognizable. As his arm dangled to his side, he stumbled up and yelled for the medic. His teammates raced to begin the long battle to save his life.

Retired Tech. Sgt. Matthew Slaydon, an explosive ordnance disposal technician from the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, was critically injured Oct. 24, 2007, while serving to protect convoy routes in Iraq. The explosion left him completely blind. His left eye was gone. Doctors amputated his left arm above the elbow. He also suffered a collapsed lung and numerous facial fractures and lacerations in the attack.
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