State leaders announce plans for the future of Luke Air Force

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GLENDALE - Several state leaders were on hand at the state capitol this morning for a major announcement regarding the future of Luke Air Force Base.

Securing the future of Luke Air Force Base is the goal of a new campaign called "Luke Forward- Ready for the Future".

The governor, along with other state and local leaders are all behind the push to bring a new mission to the base in Glendale.

The mission is to make Luke a training base for the new F-35 Lightening 2.

Since 1941, Luke has been the largest training facility for F-16 fighter jets, so it knows a thing about training military pilots.

Luke is already the largest military base in Arizona, in terms of the number of people it employs and it has a great economic impact generating more than $2 billion for the state every year.

Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs says Luke is perfectly positioned to receive the F-35, the Air Force's new fighter jet which will replace the F-16.

The F-35 is supposedly the world’s most advanced multi-role fighter and will be used by the Air Force, the Navy, the Marines and at least eight other countries.

That's why about 10 cities have joined forces with the state of Arizona to back the Luke Forward campaign in hopes of getting community support to bring the F-35 training mission to Luke Air Force Base.

To show your support, you're being asked to log on to to sign a form.

There are some folks concerned about the mission, mostly about noise and safety.

This will be a long process with a final decision coming in 2011.