Luke’s Living Cornerstone

Capt. Joshua Arki, the first F-16 pilot to transition to F-35s at Luke AFB, Ariz., recently began training on the base’s future airframe at Eglin AFB, Fla., base officials announced. “Captain Arki has a lot riding on his shoulders,” said 62nd Fighter Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Shamsher Mann, in a Jan. 17 release. “On those shoulders rests the initial trajectory of the combat training effectiveness of the F-35 when it arrives at Luke.” Arki is currently the 62nd FS chief of weapons and tactics and former F-16 instructor. “I’m learning a lot from the Eglin instructors, and hope to bring back to Luke many of their lessons learned,” said Arki. After returning in March, Arki will begin “defining new tactics for a new fighter while building the initial crop of F-35 pilots for the Air Force,” said Shamsher. The first of Luke’s eventual 144 F-35As are due to arrive early this year.