Luke Air Force Base is situated in Glendale, Arizona. It is approximately 30 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix and is known for its’ desert climate. There is a rich and varied outdoor culture here, with the Grand Canyon and Flagstaff ski slopes nearby, plus Camelback Mountain and Superstition Mountain Museum.
Luke AFB is a major fighter jet training facility for the Air Force, with F-16 and F-35 fighter training, maintenance, and support operations.
Find information about Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, including the main commercial and DSN numbers for the base, information on basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and inprocessing.
Luke Air Force Base, Arizona Mission & Units
Luke AFB falls under Air Education And Training Command, and is a training base for both F-16 and F-35 fighter jets. The base is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, which the official site claims is “the largest fighter wing in the world”. It also functions as the Air Force’s primary active-duty fighter pilot training wing. There are 24 fighter squadrons, and approximately 400 pilots are trained at Luke each year.
Luke Air Force Base units include:
- 56th Medical Group
- 56th Mission Support Group
- 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies
- 56th Operations Group
- 56th Maintenance Group
- 54th Fighter Group
- 944th Fighter Wing
- 56th Range Management Office
- 21st Fighter Squadron (21 FS)
- 309th Fighter Squadron (309 FS)
- 310th Fighter Squadron (310 FS)
- 425th Fighter Squadron (425 FS)
- 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron (56 AMDS)
- 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (56 AMXS)
- 56th Civil Engineering Squadron (56 CES)
- 56th Communications Squadron (56 CS)
- 56th Component Maintenance Squadron (56 CMS)
- 56th Comptroller Squadron (56 CPTS)
- 56th Contracting Squadron (56 CONS)
- 56th Dental Operations Squadron (56 DS)
- 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron (56 EMS)
- 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW)
- 56th Force Support Squadron (56 FSS)
- 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron (56 LRS)
- 56th Maintenance Group (56 MXG)
- 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron (56 MOS)
- 56th Medical Group (56 MDG)
- 56th Medical Operations Squadron (56 MDOS)
- 56th Medical Support Squadron (56 MDSS)
- 56th Mission Support Group (56 MSG)
- 56th Operations Group (56 OG)
- 56th Operations Support Squadron (56 OSS)
- 56th Security Forces Squadron (56 SFS)
- 56th Training Squadron (56 TRS)
- 607th Air Control Squadron (607 ACS)
- 61st Fighter Squadron (61 FS)
- 62nd Fighter Squadron (62 FS)
- 63rd Fighter Squadron (63 FS)
- 944th Fighter Wing
- DET 1 ACC Training Support Squadron
- DET 12/372 Training Squadron
- OLAD, 29th Training Systems Squadron
Luke Air Force Base, Arizona History
In 1940, the Army was searching for place in Arizona to conduct advanced fighter aircraft training; the City of Phoenix purchased nearly 1500 acres of land that was leased in turn to the federal government. In 1941, construction began on what was then called Litchfield Park Air Base. By the time the first flight training classes began there, the area was known as Luke Field.
World War Two saw Luke becoming the largest fighter training base, with more than 17 thousand pilots learning there in aircraft including the P-40 Warhawk, P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt.
1944 saw the base log its’ one millionth flying training hour, but in the wake of World War Two the base was eventually deactivated. In the meantime, the Air Force became a separate branch of military service and when the Korean War began, Luke was brought back to duty under the Air Force’s Air Education And Training Command.
One of the lesser-known facts about Luke AFB is that the base is where the Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration team was created; the 3600th Air Demonstration Team was established at Luke, and would eventually be known as both that designation and as the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Luke would also start training Air Force Reserve troops in rescue operations starting in the 1960s.
The base wound up being transferred to the jurisdiction of Air Tactical Command for a time, and in the 1990s would be switched back under Air Education and Training Command thanks in part due to the Base Realignment And Closure Commission (BRAC).
9/11 saw Luke AFB flying combat air patrols around New York and Washington D.C. and in the aftermath of 9/11 Luke pilots supported expeditionary operations as part of a variety of operations including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Luke AFB was named after the first pilot to be awarded the Medal of Honor; 2nd Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr. was a prolific fighter pilot with 18 aerial victories during World War I, many of which involved German military balloons. Luke was killed after his aircraft was shot down over france in 1918.
The Luke AFB official site says in the present day, the mission of the base is to “train the world’s greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission ready warfighters”.
Luke Air Force Base, Arizona Contacts
Luke AFB Main Address And Phone
Luke Air Force Base
14185 West Falcon Street
Luke AFB, AZ 85309
- (DSN) 312-896-6550
Important Luke AFB Phone Numbers
- EMERGENCY ONLY – 911
- Airfield Operations – 623-856-7131
- Airman Family Readiness Ctr – 623-856-6550
- Armed Forces Bank – 623-535-9766
- Base Taxi – 623-856-6866
- Balfour (Family Housing) – 623-388-3515
- Child Development Center – 623-856-6338
- Civilian Pay – 623-856-6034
- Civilian Personnel – 623-856-2120
- Central Medical Appointments – 623-856-2273
- Command Post – 623-856-5600
- Corps of Engineers – 623-536-2225
- Dorm Management – 623-856-7841
- Education Center – 623-856-7722
- Equal Opportunity – 623-856-7711
- Family Readiness – 623-856-6550
- Fingerprints – 623-856-5981
- Fire Chief – 623-856-6511
- Fire Station – 623-856-6641
- Focus Work – 623-535-8003
- Housing Assistance Sec – 623-856-7643
- Housing Facilities Sec – 623-856-3007
- Housing Maintenance – 623-935-2676
- ID Cards – 623-856-7875
- Legal Assistance – 623-856-6901
- Lodging Office/Switchboard – 623-856-3941
- Maintenance Control Center – 623-856-5469
- Marine Corps 24-hr Duty Desk – 602-421-5806
- Military Pay – 623-856-7028
- Navy Op Support Ctr – 602-353-3008
- Safety – 623-856-6941
- SARC – 623-856-4878
- Security Forces (EOC) – 623-856-5970
- Security Incidents – 623-856-7777
- Service Calls – CE Maint. – 623-856-7232
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator – 623-856-4878
- (TMO) Household Goods – 623-856-6425
- (TMO) Passenger Travel – 623-856-7035
- Transient Alert – 623-856-6204
- Travel Pay – 623-856-7028
- Veterinary Clinic – 623-856-6354
- Visitor Reception Center (South Gate) – 623-856-4768
- Weather – 623-856-6805
Luke Air Force Base Surrounding Area
There are many things to do in the local area near Luke Air Force Base, including a visit to Phoenix to see the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks or AFL football with the Arizona Rattlers. Outdoors enthusiasts will love the Out Of Africa wildlife park in Camp Verde, AZ, and Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
There are plenty of other attractions nearby; the Chandler, AZ-based Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse, and Biltmore Fashion Park. The Grand Canyon is a must-visit, as well as the Petrified Forest National Park.
Luke Air Force Base Inprocessing and Check-In
Permanent party new arrivals are directed to check in to their unit personnel office for squadron inprocessing during normal duty hours; after-hours check-in may be done at the Fighter Country Inn (Building 660).
Inprocessing must be done in uniform. A base-level inprocessing procedure is also required; check in at the Military Personnel Support office in Building 1150 to be scheduled for mandatory Wing Orientation. A medical Right Start program is also an inprocessing requirement, held at the base medical clinic on Tuesdays.
Students arriving at Luke AFB must report to the Fighter Country Inn, Bldg 660, for inprocessing instructions.
Luke Air Force Base Services
Luke AFB is served by the The 56th Medical Group, which operates an outpatient-only Medical Treatment Facility. This facility is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Emergency services are not available. Outpatient care includes, but may not be limited to:
- Allergy Clinic
- Dental Clinic
- Family Practice Clinic
- Flight Medicine
- Health and Wellness Center
- Immunizations Clinic
- Internal Medicine Clinic
- Preventive Health Assessment
- Optometry Clinic
- Orthopedics Clinic
- Pediatrics Clinic
- Women’s Health Clinic
On-base child care is available through Luke AF Child Development Centers (CDCs) which provide full-time, part-time, and limited walk-in care on a space-available basis. CDC fees are set based on family income.
Children aged six weeks to age five are eligible for care, with active duty families and Department of Defense civilians given child care priority. The following documents are required for CDC care:
- Program Patron Registration AF Form 1181
- Medical Evaluation Form
- Current Immunizations, to include annual flu vaccine
- Meal Benefit Eligibility Form (USDA)
The Luke AFB CDC has a waiting list. Call for more information on how to register or wait list times.
Luke AFB also features the Family Child Care (FCC) program which has on-base providers offering licensed and inspected child care from private homes on a full-time, part-time, and hourly basis. Call the Luke AFB Family Child Care Office at 623-856-7470/7471 or DSN 312-896-7470/7471 for information on FCC care.
Dependent And Retiree ID Card Replacement, Renewal, New Issue
All Luke AFB personnel are directed to use the RAPIDS system to schedule appointments for CAC, dependent ID, and retiree ID services. Walk-ins are discouraged due to high volumes of requests and the wait time for walk-in services may be as long as three hours. Basic documentation for services related to IDs includes:
- DD Form 1172 signed by sponsor witnessed by a DEERS Verifying Official or Notary Signature and Seal OR
- Special or General Power of Attorney PLUS
- Two forms of valid ID; one of which must be a valid state or federal government-issued picture identification (passport, driver’s or state license, SSN card, current military ID, etc.), and
- Any additional supporting documentation needed situationally such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, etc.
All PCSing military members with household goods shipments en route to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona are directed to track and manage their household goods shipments via the Defense Personal Property System at Move.mil. Call the Luke AFB Travel Management Office (TMO) at 623-856-6425 for more information.
Luke Air Force Base Schools
Luke AFB has no Department of Defense schools on base; children will attend school districts appropriate to where they live in the area whether on base or off. Contact the Luke AFB School Liaison Officer for help selecting a school, learning about admissions requirements, etc.
Local school districts include:
- Avondale Elementary School District #44
- Litchfield Elementary School District
- Dysart Unified School District
To attend public schools in Arizona, students must have either proof of all required immunizations or an exemption form
Arizona state law provides parents with exemptions for medical reasons, lab evidence of immunity, or personal beliefs. An exemption form is required to be filled out and submitted by parents.
Luke Air Force Base Housing
Housing on Luke AFB has been privatized and is run by Luke Family Housing/Balfour Beatty Communities. Unaccompanied/single airmen in ranks E-3 and below (and E-4s with less than three years’ time in service) are required to live on base in dormitories. Those not required to live in dormitory housing may live on base or off base.
The Housing Management Office handles unaccompanied Housing, off-base and privatized housing referrals and relocation services. Those PCSing to Luke AFB with families must check in with the Housing Management Office (in the Housing Referral section) no later than 30 days after arriving.
There is a waiting list for privatized on-base housing and help is available with finding homes in the local community. Call 623-856-6629 or DSN 896-6629 for assistance.
Luke Air Force Base PCS and TDY Lodging
The Fighter Country Inn handles temporary lodging for Luke Air Force Base; check in at the reception desk, located at 7012 N. Bong Lane in Building 660. Call (623) 856-3941 or DSN 896-3941 for reservations or booking information. There are peak reservation times and the ability to make reservations far in advance may depend on space available and other factors.
Unaccompanied airmen PCSing to Luke AFB and arriving after duty hours may be housed in “hospitality quarters” until the first duty day when they are then assigned to their squadron dormitory where applicable.
Luke Air Force Base Transportation
Local bus service to Luke AFB is limited or unavailable depending on funding, demand, and othr factors; privately owned vehicles are the primary means of transportation in the area according to local guidebooks. Typical taxi, airport shuttle, and other commercial means of transportation are available to get to the base from the airport. A base taxi service (for official business only) may be available depending on demand, mission requirements, and other factors.
Luke Air Force Base Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
Luke AFB does not issue base decals or require them to be displayed for entry or exit. Random inspections of vehicles, 100% ID checks, and other measures are often employed, and those entering the base must comply with REAL ID Act requirements for photo ID used to gain entry into federal installations.
All privately owned vehicles are required to conform to Arizona state law including minimum insurance requirements. New arrivals are permitted to drive in Arizona using a valid driver license from another country where applicable.
Privately owned vehicles registered in another state must be registered in-state as soon as the owner becomes an Arizona resident.
Most vehicles may be registered for either one or two years at a time, depending on emissions testing requirements for a given motor vehicle.