Luke AFB hosts President for defense panel and F-35A training mission tour Published Oct. 20, 2018 By Senior Airman Ridge Shan 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- President Donald Trump visited Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 19, 2018, to discuss military weapons and technology capabilities and learn about the 56th Fighter Wing’s pilot training mission. After touring a static display of the F-35A Lightning II and other military equipment, Trump convened with cabinet members, congressmen, and defense industry leaders in a roundtable discussion on current defense issues including cybersecurity, stealth technology, and F-35 development. “We make the greatest military equipment in the world,” Trump said. “American-made military products are more effective, more lethal, and more precise than any other equipment in the world. It’s not even a contest, there’s nothing close.” Trump acknowledged and emphasized the importance of Arizona’s military presence, including Luke’s role in building the future of airpower. “This incredible state is home to six major military installations, more than 30,000 military personnel, and thousands of defense companies,” Trump said. “Arizona’s military defense industries support 76,000 jobs and create $11.5 billion in economic output.” Additionally, Trump praised the F-35’s capabilities and the progression of its pilot training program under the guidance and direction of Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “It is an honor and a privilege to lead the more than 5,600 men and women of Luke Air Force Base,” Canterbury said. “Our mission is simple: We train the world’s greatest fighter pilots here. Luke Air Force Base is responsible for training about 95% of the United States Air Force’s fighter pilots.” Trump concluded his visit with a meet and greet, where he spoke with, shook hands, and took photos with Thunderbolts from units across the base, before departing on Marine One.