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Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base is well on its way to becoming the primary U.S. pilot training center for the F-35 Lightning II program, according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, the Pentagon’s top F-35 program official.
When complete, Luke will host six squadrons of 24 F-35 jets, with 144 total aircraft.
According to coverage in the Arizona Republic:
“We have asked them to do a lot here,” said Bogdan, who toured the base in Glendale on Tuesday for first time.
“From what I saw today, in terms of the professionalism from the maintainers to the instructors to the civil-engineering crews getting this place ready, this is going to be a showcase for F-35 training for a long, long time,”he said.
The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is projected to be a mainstay of the U.S. defense strategy for 40 to 50 years.