Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited Luke Air Force Base March 9 and 10, to meet with Airmen and gain a better understanding of its mission with a focus on F-35 Lightning II operations, and its maintenance and training facilities.
During her first visit to the base, James held an all-call where she took time to thank Airmen and give her impressions of Luke.
“Wow, what a great total force story we have going on here,” said James. “We have active duty, the Reserve component, civilians, and fantastic contractor support working side-by-side with our international partners. That is the broadest of the broad total force story, and I’m impressed with it.”
Most of James’ day involved briefings about F-35 operations and touring F-35 facilities.
James spoke about how impressed she was with the leadership team with respect to F-16 and F-35 training, as well as her tour of different parts of base and interacting with Airmen in their work centers.
“When it comes to the F-35 program, this is a program that has really taken off,” James said. “Pilots and maintainers are being trained, sorties are being flown and challenges are being overcome. There is a “can-do” spirit here.”