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Luke AFB celebrates 100th F-35 flight

An F-35 lands Aug. 26, 2014 at Luke Air Force Base. The fighter jet had completed its historic 100th sortie at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland)

An F-35 lands Aug. 26, 2014 at Luke Air Force Base. The fighter jet had completed its historic 100th sortie at Luke. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Marcy Copeland)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Luke Air Force Base launched its 100th F-35A sortie at approximately noon on Tuesday.

"Flying the 100th F-35A sortie at Luke is a tremendous accomplishment," said Maj. William Andreotta, 61st Fighter Squadron chief of standardization and evaluations. "It is also a tribute to all the hard work and dedication put forth by the men and women of the 61st FS and 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit."

The 61st AMU has been dedicated to keeping the new fighter technology in flying condition.

"With every new weapon system comes a learning curve, and our maintenance team has done an exceptional job maximizing the balance between training opportunities and keeping pace with flying operations," said Lt. Col. Benjamin Smith, 56th Maintenance Group deputy commander.

Luke recently welcomed its seventh F-35 jet on August 20, bringing the F-35 program into full swing.

"Being a part of Luke's transition from F-16s to F-35As has been an incredible and rewarding experience," said Andreotta. "Every day we fly we are paving the way for a new era at Luke AFB."

For more information, contact 2nd Lieutenant Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing public affairs, at (623) 856-6011.
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