Editorials and Opinions


Support for Luke helps community

Posted on October 17, 2013 by Fighter Country

On June 26, an F-16 crashed just outside the boundaries of Luke Air Force Base. Luckily, the pilots were able to eject safely and the aircraft went down in a field, causing no damage to structures. The fact that only vacant land was affected by this crash is no coincidence. For the past decade, Peoria and other West Valley cities have been working with Luke Air Force Base to ensure that residential encroachment did not impact the mission of the base, or put residents in danger in these types of situations. The following day, 56th Fighter Wing Commander Gen. Michael…

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Support for Luke AFB remains critical

Posted on March 25, 2013 by Fighter Country

Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett

There are two reasons I believe Luke Air Force Base is at more risk now than it was during the base selection process for the F-35.

Sequestration and BRAC, which is Base Realignment and Closure.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that it will seek two rounds of base closures, one in 2015 followed by another in 2017. Apparently DoD wanted to do a BRAC last year but that was stymied by Congress, who just happened to be up for reelection.

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Sequestration: Luke should be off-limits

Posted on March 23, 2013 by Fighter Country

U.S. Congressman Trent Franks>Having been in public service for roughly 30 years of my life, witnessing political posturing is not exactly a new phenomenon. But the recent back-and-forth over President Obama’s sequester, including the failure to reach an agreement before the March 1 deadline, has taken the worst aspects of bureaucracy to absurd new heights.

Indeed, the federal government has, at this point, become essentially a parody of itself. So inefficient and ineffective has the budgeting process become that the federal government has, for months, been scrambling to find some way to undo its own work.

A crash course was charted, autopilot was enabled, and we are now somehow shocked to find ourselves arriving at our destination.

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Sonoran Desert Heritage plan protects Luke

Posted on November 9, 2011 by rsites

Exec. Director / President - Ron SitesThe Sonoran Desert Heritage draft proposal for protecting public lands in western Maricopa County is not simply a conservation effort. It is supported by a broad cross-section of homegrown Arizona public and private interests for a variety of environmental and economic reasons.

Fighter Country Partnership is proud to support the Sonoran Desert Heritage conservation plan because its passage will further protect Luke Air Force Base and its $2.1 billion annual economic impact to our community.

The Sonoran Desert Heritage conservation proposal will protect and maintain the necessary open spaces over which missions are conducted, thereby preserving the vital air corridors necessary for flight operations at Luke. This protection is more critical now than ever because Luke is the preferred alternative for training pilots of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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Support of Luke vital in coming months

Posted on October 20, 2011 by Fighter Country

It has been two years since the October 2009 launch of LukeForward.com, a statewide campaign to petition the Department of Defense to select Luke Air Force Base (AFB) as the second active duty training base for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter mission. Luke is currently the largest active duty F-16 training base in the world, and the Air Force is planning to begin replacing its fleet of F-16s with the new F-35 within the next few years. The LukeForward campaign was developed by West Valley Partners and Fighter Country Partnership to generate awareness and support of the positive impacts the…

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Franks weighs in on F-35

Posted on October 18, 2011 by Fighter Country

By Carolyn Dryer @ The Glendale Star Congressman Trent Franks commented this week on the mission at Luke Air Force Base and the scheduling of the F-16 squadrons’ move to Holloman Air Force Base once the F-35 Lightning II lands at the base in Glendale. Upon entering office, Franks said he was part of the delegation that worked diligently to save Luke during the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) process. “Then, we were working hard to get the F-35 to Luke,” Franks said. “.So, those are wonderful successes I’m thankful for.” Franks said the first F-16 movement, the first squadron,…

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Town of Buckeye Supports F-35 at Luke Air Force Base

Posted on March 1, 2010 by Fighter Country

The town of Buckeye has supported the mission of Luke Air Force Base for decades. Just recently, the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution strongly encouraging the U. S. Department of Defense, Congress and the Administration to designate Luke Air Force Base as a training site for the Air Force version of the F-35 Lightning II fighter. The operations at Luke AFB have impacted people from all walks of life and from every state in the nation. Since 1988, Luke Air Force Base has trained 16,270 fighter pilots to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon and graduated 9,071 crew chiefs. They…

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Large Crowds in El Mirage Support New F-35 at Luke Air Force Base

Posted on February 25, 2010 by Fighter Country

Luke Forward to the F-35GLENDALE, Ariz. (Feb 25 2010) – West Valley residents are turning out in large numbers this week to show their support in bringing the new F-35 fighter jet to Luke Air Force Base.

Tuesday night’s meeting in El Mirage and last night’s meeting in Surprise each attracted big crowds of approximately 300 people. Luke supporters donning military hats, t-shirts, pins and stickers could be found everywhere at the meetings, which are being conducted by the Air Force to solicit input from citizens in preparation of the F-35 environmental study at the Glendale base.

Based on reports from other communities, such as New Mexico, Utah and Idaho, which are also under consideration to receive the Air Force’s joint strike fighter program, the Luke meetings are drawing record crowds.

“At last night’s meeting in Surprise, there was a line of people waiting to get inside the meeting room,” said Fighter Country Partnership’s Steve Yamamori, whose organization is working with 12 West Valley cities and Maricopa County to bring the F-35 to Luke. West Valley residents and others are showing up in force at these meetings to express their support for the Air Force to bring the F-35 to Luke. This strong support by local citizens is definitely going to send a clear message to decisions makers back in Washington, D.C. that Arizona strongly supports the F-35.”

Based on the criteria the Air Force will use to evaluate sites for the F-35 mission, Luke is well positioned to receive the F-35 and continue to serve as the Air Force’s “school house” for America’s fighter pilots and maintainers.
Local leaders know, however, that until a decision is made, nothing can be taken for granted, and they urge continued strong support from Arizonans statewide.

Luke has been training fighter pilots since 1941, and Arizona features the ideal climate, land, airspace and training rangers – including the Barry M. Goldwater Range in southern Arizona – that cannot be replicated anywhere in the country.

For more information on the public-scoping meetings, which run through Friday, or to register your support for the F-35 at Luke, visit www.LukeForward.com.

CONTACT: Steve Yamamori, Fighter Country Partnership, 623-882-2191

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Surpise Mayor Truitt Supports The F-35 Training Mission at Luke Air Force Base

Posted on February 19, 2010 by Fighter Country

by Surprise Mayor L.E. “Lyn” Truitt As mayor of Surprise, I see the positive difference Luke Air Force Base makes daily in our community. That is why I fully support bringing the F-35 training program to Luke Air Force Base. Surprise has more flyovers from Luke’s F-16 jets than any other West Valley city. To us, the roar of those fighters is the sound of freedom. Luke AFB is a true West Valley native. Its mission of defending freedom blossomed decades ago, when it was a training site for young WWII pilots. Many of them loved Arizona and settled here;…

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City of Surprise Supports the F-35 and the Sound of Freedom from Luke Air Force Base

Posted on February 17, 2010 by Fighter Country

In the last several months, there has been a flurry of public meetings, media coverage and varying opinions on the campaign to bring the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program to Luke Air Force Base (AFB). Unfortunately, there have been many opinions that were misconstrued as facts that could potentially hurt the opportunity to have Luke AFB chosen as the new JSF training base for the Department of Defense. As mayor of Surprise, I want to state my full support for bringing the F-35 training program to Arizona.  Surprise has more flyovers of aircraft than any other West Valley city…

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