Luke Air Force Base to be F-35 training location
03 Aug 12 | By Tim Mahon
The US Air Force announced 3 August that Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, is to be the training site for aircrew for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth generation combat aircraft.
The selection and evaluation process, lasting three years, considered multiple aspects of the potential suitability of all the candidate bases, and Luke scored high both on community support and environmental scales. Pilots have been training at Luke for over seventy years, according to the public affairs office for 56th Fighter Wing at the base.
A total of 72 aircraft are to be stationed there, in three
squadrons, with the first aircraft arriving between late 2013 and mid-2014,
dependent on production scheduling.
As well as US armed forces personnel, Luke will provide training facilities for friendly air forces transitioning to the F-35, providing an International Partner Training site on base.
It was unclear at press time whether the training facilities at Eglin AFB, Florida, would be relocated to Arizona or would be run in parallel with the facilities at Luke.