Skip to main content


We train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat ready Airmen!


We build the future of Airpower


We are changin the Air Force from within the 56th Fighter Wing

Luke Air Force Base and the 56th FW

Located in Glendale, Arizona, just west of Phoenix, Luke Air Force Base is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, the largest fighter wing in the Air Force. Luke AFB has established an enviable training record throughout its extensive history. During World War II, it was the largest fighter training base in the Army Air Force, graduating more than 61,000 pilots and air crew. The base began its F-16 fighter pilot training program in February 1983 and has trained more than 20,000 Fighting Falcon pilots since that time. Thanks in part to the original Luke Forward campaign, the base received its first F-35A in 2014 and is now home to more than 95 F-35As with 144 to call Luke home by 2022.

Lt Frank Luke Jr. – Luke AFB’s Namesake

Luke AFB is named for the WWI flying ace and Phoenix native Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr, the first aviator to receive the Medal of Honor. Lt Luke scored 18 aeriel victories, 14 against German “sausages” or observation balloons, befire being killed at the young age of 21 on 29 September 1918. In September of 2018, civic leaders, community leaders, LAFB supporters, USAF retirees, and representatives of Fighter Country Partnership staff traveled to Murvaux, France and the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery for a memorial ceremony to commemerate the 100 year anniversary of Lt Luke’s heroic death.

Frank Luke Jr 100 Years RMO

56th Fighter Wing Mission

The host command at Luke Air Force Base is the 56th Fighter Wing, which is organized under Air Education and Training Command. The wing provides command guidance and operational control over the 56th Operations Group, 56th Maintenance Group, 56th Mission Support Group and 56th Medical Group.

Additionally, the 56th Fighter Wing oversees the Gilab Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field and is steward of the 1.7M acre Barry M Goldwater Military Training Range.

Luke AFB is home to its primary tenant, the 944th Fighter Wing. The 944th FW units located at Luke AFB include the 944th Operations Group and 944th Mission Support Group, the 69th Fighter Squadron, 944th Force Support Squadron, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron, 944th Security Forces Squadron, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 944th Medical Squadron and the 944th Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

Luke AFB Statistics

LAFB trains 75% of all F-35 pilots in the world with more than 180 training sorties performed every day.

Luke is an incomparable economic engine for Arizona, employing 4,300 active duty, 1,300 reservists, and 1,300 civilian staff at Luke whose total direct and indirect economic impact on Arizona is nearly 2.4B. Additionally, about 6,700 family members and 65,000 military retirees live in the Phoenix area and utilize Luke services.

The 56th Fighter Wing manages 1.1 million of the 2.7 million acres that comprise the Barry M. Goldwater Range in Southern Arizona. The United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force Reserves and the Arizona National Guard use the Goldwater Range for training critical to the defense of our Nation and our freedom.

The Military is the largest employer in Arizona, employing more than 83,000 active duty, reserve and civilians at military installations statewide.


  1. Wing Commander – Brig. Gen. Todd D. “Tales” Canterbury
  2. Vice Wing Commander – Col. Scott W Walker
  3. Command Chief – CMsgt Ronald R. Thompson


Since 1941, Luke has graduated more than 61,000 pilots.

  • 105 F-35 pilot graduates per year
  • 188 F-16 pilot graduates per year
  • 79 intelligence specialists per year
  • 98 F-35 maintainers produced per year
  • 39 nurse graduates per year
  • 8 medical lab technician graduates per year
  • 1 critical care/emergency trauma fellowship graduates per year

For more information about Luke Air Force Base, its mission, and history please visit the official Luke AFB website.
This page is current as of January 2020 and information is only as accurate as is published by the United States Department of Defense.