Luke AFB in Arizona is no stranger to new fighter technology. It was here that the USAF fielded the F-15 Eagle, it has been pivotal in F-16 training, and now it is the bedrock of the future for both domestic and international F-35 training.


The changing face of Luke AFB — once a hive of F-16 activity, today it is gradually being eclipsed by F-35 training.

AT ONE TIME, Luke AFB, in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, was home to more than 200 F-16 Fighting Falcons. It housed six USAF training squadrons, as well as one Air Force Reserve Command unit and a pair of foreign military sales units. The skies in and around the base constantly reverberated to the sound of F-16s.

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