Aug. 1, 2012
Caption: Photo courtesy of CBS/cbs5az.com
Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Thelda Williams lauded today’s decision to locate the U.S. Air Force F-35 pilot training mission in the Valley.
The F-35 program will bring 1,000 jobs to the region with the addition of 72 new jets and nearly 3,000 more construction jobs to renovate and expand Luke.
“Thank you to the Department of Defense for believing in Luke and our region,” Stanton said. “The F-35 program not only will train the best fighter pilots in the world, but also it is an economic investment for our future. Our community stood with one voice in full support of Luke and its future missions.”
Stanton played a key role as state deputy attorney general under former state attorney general Terry Goddard in protecting Luke Air Force Base from encroachment. He and Goddard negotiated the 2009 settlement between the state and Maricopa County to protect the future vitality of Luke, and thus, the possibility of landing the $17 million-a-year F-35 program.
Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams, who serves on the Luke West Valley Council, was a leader in advocating for the F-35 mission to come to Phoenix.
“I am proud beyond measure to have been a part of this mission, to continue Luke's 70-plus year legacy of training top notch pilots to defend our nation,” Williams said. “This contract will keep the Luke tradition alive for years to come, creating jobs and pumping millions of dollars into our economy each year.”