Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located seven miles (11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is also about 15 miles (24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona. The base is named after World War I Medal of Honor recipient and former Phoenix native, Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr. Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The base is named for the first U.S. aviator to receive the Medal of Honor, Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr. Born in Phoenix in 1897, the “Arizona Balloon Buster” scored 18 aerial victories during World War I (14 of these German observation balloons) in the skies over France before being killed, at age 21, on September 29, 1918.
The 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW) of the AETC is the host wing at Luke. The wing is composed of four groups of 27 squadrons, including eight fighter squadrons. There are several tenant units on base, including the 944th Fighter Wing (944 FW), assigned to the Air Force Reserve Command’s 10th Air Force (10 AF) and operationally-gained by AETC.
The base population includes about 7,000 military and civilian members and 15,000 family members. With about 80,000 retired military members living in greater Phoenix, the base services a total population of more than 100,000
The 56th Operations Group has operational control and responsibility for the entire fighter-training mission at Luke. The tail code of the assigned F-16 aircraft to the 56 OG is “LF”. Squadrons and aircraft tail markings are:
o 21st Fighter Squadron “Gamblers” (White)
o 61st Fighter Squadron “Top Dogs” (Yellow)
o 62d Fighter Squadron “Spikes” (White)
o 308th Fighter Squadron “Emerald Knights” (Green/white checker)
o 309th Fighter Squadron “Wild Ducks” (Blue)
o 310th Fighter Squadron “Tophats” (Green)
o 425th Fighter Squadron “Black Widows” (Red/black)
o 56th Operations Support Squadron “Wizards”
o 56th Training Squadron
The 21st FS is a USAF squadron that trains pilots of the Taiwanese Air Force, and the 425th FS does the same for the Singaporean Air Force.
The 56th Maintenance Group (MXG) provides aircraft maintenance on more than 180 F-16s for the Air Force’s only active duty F-16 training wing. It is composed of 5 squadrons, incorporating both on and off equipment aircraft maintenance and munitions maintenance.
o 756th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
o 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
o 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron
o 56th Component Maintenance Squadron
o 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron
The 56th Mission Support Group (MSG) sustains the F-16 Fighting Falcon, provides for the community, and delivers responsive combat support.
o 56th Force Support Squadron
The 56th Medical Group (MDG) operates an outpatient only Medical Treatment Facility, which serves more than 84,000 beneficiaries in the Phoenix area.