Arizona's Luke Air Force Base gets F-35 mission
Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The Department of Defense has chosen Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz., for the new pilot training center for the F-35 fighter jets.
The 71-year-old base west of Phoenix was competing with bases in Tucson, New Mexico and Idaho for the F-35 mission.
Glendale officials said the Air Force will station 72 F-35s at Luke for the training of both U.S. and foreign pilots.
Air Force officials said in a statement that Luke was chosen because of facility and ramp capacity, range access, weather, as well as capacity for future growth.
Arizona leaders had 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 said Luke could receive up to $125 million in federal funds for construction-related projects.
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