Luke Reaches One Million Flight Hours with the F-16

The 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Ariz., last month reached its one millionth flight hour with F-16s since the unit began operating them at the base in December 1982, according to a base release. “This feat was quite an historic event, and I was honored to be part of it,” said Col. John Hanna, Luke’s 56th Operations Group commander, in the March 22 release. He said Luke is the first base to achieve this milestone. At the controls of the F-16 on the historic March 13 flight was 1st Lt. Matthew Wetherbee, a 309th Fighter Squadron student pilot, with Capt. Joseph Walker, a 309th FS instructor pilot and assistant chief of weapons, in the back seat of the F-16D. The 56th FW trains US and international F-16 pilots and maintainers. The base is home to more than 135 F-16s and graduates more than 400 F-16 pilots annually, according to the base’s website. The wing accumulates about 2,000 flight hours per month, states the release. (Luke report by Stephen Delgado)