"I am thrilled the U.S. Air Force has assigned three additional F-35A squadrons to Luke Air Force Base.
"Just shy of one year ago, the U.S. Department of Defense officially selected Luke as the preferredlocation for the Air Force's new F-35 training center. Upon this designation, the base was scheduled to receive three initial squadrons, totaling 72 next-generation aircraft. With today's announcement, Luke AFB will soon be home to 144 F-35A aircraft -- more than any other Air Force Base to date.
"Luke AFB has a longstanding, well-earned reputation of training andgraduating world-class fighter pilots. Its quality workforce, first-rate Barry M. Goldwater Range and unparalleled natural and geographic advantages have positioned Luke as a base worthy of these squadrons. Further, with more than 7,000 employees, the base alone generates more than $2 billion annually in statewide economic impact -- a figure expected to grow with its receipt of the additional aircraft.
"I applaud the Department of Defense for recognizing the key role Luke AFB plays in our nation's security and defense. Its decision ensures Luke will remain the nation's premier site for critical Air Force missions for decades to come."