Luke Air Force Base has officially made its first mission update since 1983, and with this comes exciting F-35 training news. Though initial F-35 training flights for the first four students will not take off for a few more weeks, official academic intensive training began May 4th. Base officials have also noted that there are plans for the future to host and train students from 10 other countries at the newly constructed 145,000 sq. foot, $47 million Academic Training Center.
The official announcement was made during the May 21st Luke AFB’s 56th Fighter Wing Change of Mission ceremony, “Today we take another step forward for the U.S. Air Force and our partner nations by formally updating our mission statement. Beginning today the mission of Luke Air Force Base is simple – train the world’s greatest F-35 and F-16 fighter pilots.”
Luke AFB currently is home to 23 F-35s and by 2024 the base is planned to have six fighter squadrons and 144 F-35s.