McCain: Luke AFB in Arizona preferred AF F-35 site

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Sen. John McCain says the Air Force has chosen Luke Air Force Base in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale as its preferred training base for the new F-35 fighter.

McCain says the Air Force decided to delay a decision on basing more F-35s with the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson. That group also trains pilots.

The decision is a huge win for Luke, the world's largest F-16 fighter base and the jet's main training site. With the F-16s set to be phased out, the base would have no mission if it wasn't chosen for the new fighter.

Three squadrons would be based at Luke if the Air Force finalizes its decision early next year.

Luke contributes thousands of jobs and more than $1 billion annually to the local economy.