Down Under At Luke

Posted 27 April 2014
Photo by SSgt. Luther Mitchell, Jr.

The first contingent of Royal Australian Air Force personnel arrived at Luke AFB, Arizona, in late April 2014 to begin F-35 operations. The RAAF is the first partner to start spin-up operations at Luke. Sqdn. Leader Nathan Draper is the senior RAAF officer on site and he will be assigned to the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit. The RAAF is expecting their first aircraft, which will be stationed at the base in Phoenix, by the end of 2014. Current plans call for the RAAF to initially have fourteen F-35As at Luke before starting operations at RAAF Williamtown and RAAF Tindal. F-35 partner countries including Italy, Norway, Canada, Turkey, and the Netherlands are expected to initially train pilots at Luke.

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