Unveiling, flyover for 1st F-35 at Arizona AFB

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The first F-35 fighter jet to arrive at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale has had its unveiling along with a flyover.

An hour-long ceremony was held Friday inside a hangar at Luke.

Gov. Jan Brewer, Arizona congressman Trent Franks and Under Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning spoke on a dais in front of the Lightning II stealth jet.

A crowd of about 500 then watched a series of flyovers.

Another 143 of the supersonic jets are expected to be assigned to Luke over the next decade.

Base officials expect additional F-35s to arrive a couple of times per month until Luke has six squadrons of 24 planes each.

The base 15 miles west of Phoenix is projected to become the Air Force's primary F-35 pilot training base.


Luke Air Force Base to host air show in March

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz., will host an open house and air show on March 15 and 16.

The show, called, "Lightning in the Desert," will feature appearances from the Air Force Academy’s parachute team Wings of Blue, an MV-22 Osprey aircraft, and a Luke F-16 demonstration coordinated by Marine ground forces.

The Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, will also perform stunts at the base where the team began in 1953.

More than 40 aircrafts will be on display and more than 15 air and ground demonstrations are scheduled at the open house. Gates are scheduled to open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Air shows begin at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

"It's our way of saying 'thank you' for the unrivaled support we've been provided by the citizens of the Valley and the State of Arizona," Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein said in a statement.


Thunderbirds to highlight Luke AFB open house

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Luke Air Force Base officials say the Thunderbird aerial demonstration team will be the final act at Luke's "Lightning in the Desert" open house.

The Thunderbirds will perform in their F-16 fighters as the final act of each of the two days of the open house next month. Other aircraft doing flying performances include a tilt-rotor Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey, F-16s from Luke and vintage aircraft including a World War II-era P-51 Mustang and a Korean war-era F-86. More than 40 aircraft are set for ground display.

The show is set for the weekend of March 15-16.

Gates at the base 15 miles west of Phoenix in Glendale will open each day at 9 a.m., with flying to run from 11 a.m. through 4:15 p.m. Gates close at 6 p.m.

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