Luke Air Force Base continues to build up its F-35 operations this week, with the news that the first international partner to train at Luke will be arriving to train on F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Luke by the end of 2014.
The 61st Fighter Squadron and 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit will house the RAAF personnel. The goal is to build a cohesive, working understanding of the F-35A program with Luke's international partners for increased success in joint operations.
"It's one more step in the long road to making this aircraft combat capable," said Capt. Dan Langan, 61st AMU officer in-charge. "The idea is in future conflicts nobody is going to be going at it alone. We'll have our allies with us. The idea behind this aircraft was to make it easier to operate with our multinational partners, understand the same tactics, operate with the same logistics base, and figuring out how to do that starts right here. We are laying the foundation and it's pretty exciting to be on the ground floor of that effort."
Luke will act as ground zero for international partners to build their expertise in F-35A operations. The RAAF is the first partner to start their spin-up operations and are expecting their first aircraft by the end of this year.