Luke Air Force Base gets bid for F-35 pilot training mission

Luke Air Force Base gets bid for F-35 pilot training mission

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GLENDALE, AZ- Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona will host the new pilot training center for the F-35 fighter jets.

The Department of Defense chose the 71 year old base because of facility and ramp capacity, range access, weather, as well as capacity for future growth.

It was competing with bases in Tucson, New Mexico and Idaho for the F-35 mission.

Glendale officials say the Air Force will station 72 F-35s there for the training of both U.S. and foreign pilots.

Arizona leaders lobbied for the F-35s to ensure Luke's economic vitality with a strong mission as the F-16s used for training have been drawn down.

Glendale officials say Luke could receive up to $125 million in federal funds for construction-related projects.

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