From AzBusiness March/April 2021
by Erin Thorburn@AZ Big Media
Partners in Time
His educational credentials and military assignments are as extensive as they are diverse. Luke Air Force Base Brig. Gen. Gregory Kreuder, commander of the 56th Fighter Wing holds several master’s degrees, has received seven major awards and decorations, and has served in posts across the globe — from South Korea to Iraq, and nearly everywhere in between. His experience, dedication and commitment help reflect what makes Luke AFB a local economic driver, a national security stronghold and revered fixture of the West Valley — and state.
In honor and celebration of Luke AFBs’ 80th anniversary, Az Business and Brig. Gen. Kreuder discuss what makes the base an asset to the West Valley and Greater Phoenix.
Az Business: What is unique about Luke AFB and its place within the West Valley?
Brig. Gen. Gregory Kreuder: I am grateful the Air Force has given me opportunities to serve throughout the U.S. and in several locations in the Far East, Europe and the Middle East. Wherever they are in the world, our air bases must build and maintain strong, positive relationships with their local communities to ensure our airmen and families are welcome and their mission can continue over the long term.
Luke is right in the middle of a rapidlyexpanding area of the West Valley, yet has maintained an incredibly strong relationship with its community. In fact, it’s the best relationship I have seen in my military career. This is primarily due to the positive and proactive engagement of our local elected officials, city staff, civic leaders and others that see the value of Luke Air Force Base and its mission to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat-ready airmen.
80 YEARS OF HISTORY
1918: During an 18-day period in which he flew only eight days, 2nd Lt. Frank Luke, Jr., a Phoenix native, destroys 18 enemy aircraft, becoming the first aviator awarded the Medal of Honor…