Page 12 - Luke AFB Thunderbolt, January 2021
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12     January 2021                            airCraft of luke                                                                       Thunderbolt                  luke at Play/CHaPlain                                                      13
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       January 2021

   944th FW                                           At the twilight’s                                 F-35 Lightning II                                           Military community launches                                    Faith over fear                           often find myself reflecting on them as a chaplain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Chaplain’s thoughts ...

                                                                                                                                                                    second loaner library
   takes to skies                                     last gleaming                                     intersects nature                                                                        Lauren McKinley, 944th Aeromedi-                       by Chaplain (Capt.)    navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic. My
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             encouragement to anyone feeling overwhelmed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             is to choose faith. Whether that is faith in our
                                                                                                                                                                                                 cal Staging Squadron management
                                                                                                                                                                                                 support specialist, and her hus-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 band, Staff Sgt. Eric McKinley, 56th                     JAsmin LuCk        resolve to bounce back from difficulties, in our
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             training and expertise, or in a higher power, this
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Component Maintenance Squad-                           Chaplain, 944th Fighter Wing  is a conscious decision all of us can make.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 ron real property specialist, pose                       Three years ago, I   2020 tested our resilience and dedication to
                                                                                                                                                                                                 next to the Loaner Library July 28,                    went through an ex-  the mission. We balanced the uncertainty of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                 2020. Located in the Ocotillo Manor                    perience that would   future with the certainty we have in our readi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 neighborhood near the intersec-                        impact my faith and   ness. After a challenging year, some are scaveng-
                                                                                                                                                                                                 tion of Walpai and Kiowa, the mini                     perspective to this very   ing through the remnants, searching for hope.
                                                                                                                                                                        Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder
                                                                                                                                                                                                 library houses two shelves where                       day. I was a chaplain   A theory in psychology called post-traumatic
                                                                                                                                                                    individuals can take a book and leave one in its place.                Courtesy photo  candidate, excited to   growth describes the positive change that occurs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        complete my first train-  after battling a major life crisis. Growth can oc-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ing assignment overseas. During our weekly staff   cur through mindful mediation, gratitude, and
                                                                                                                                                                    Easy riders                                                    meeting, everyone’s phones started ringing and   seeking out counselors and helping agencies to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   buzzing from an influx of notifications. The noises   assist in reframing negative events. No matter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   became so significant that we had to stop and   what form of trauma someone endures in their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   investigate what was causing the interruption.   life, they can be encouraged knowing that there
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   We learned that an enemy nation was threaten-  is a chance for growth.
                                                                                Senior Airman Leala Marquez                                                                                                                        ing our region, and I felt my heart drop instantly.   Our pain can be vectored toward a greater
                           Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai  An F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 425th                                                                                                                             My standard active duty tour turned into a time   purpose. The pilot who encouraged me left a
   An F-16C Fighting Falcon assigned to the 944th     Fighter Squadron, prepares to land at Luke Air Force                                                                                                                         where our chapel services became more instru-  more significant impact than he realized. After
   Fighter Wing takes off Jan. 13, 2020. The Total Force   Base. The F-16 can withstand up to nine Gs, nine                                                                                                                        mental than ever.                         our conversation, I walked away feeling moti-
   integration of the 944th FW and 56th FW, alongside   times the force of gravity, with a full load of fuel.                                                                                             Senior Airman Alexander Cook  The next day, I decided to visit the flight line   vated to uplift those around me. Today, I still
   their partner-nation counterparts, produces some of   Luke AFB currently trains alongside six foreign na-                                                        More than 1,000 bikers drove down the runway Feb. 29, 2020, dur-  to see how everyone handled the news. I crossed   find strength in his words. You can be a similar
   the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat-ready   tions and has graduated more than 61,000 fighter                                                          ing the Mayor’s Big Dog Run. “I have never felt more exhilarated on   paths with a pilot who gave me some insight into   source of courage for your wingmen, who may be
   Airmen.                                            pilots since 1941.                                                                                            a bike than when I opened up the throttle on that runway, letting all   his viewpoint. He had so much peace and con-  facing hardships they are not expressing. We can
                                                                                                                                                                    of my stress fly away at a steady 105 mph,” said Stefanie Bradley,   tentment that I asked what he relied on in these   all see growth during our trials and grief if we
                                                                                                                                                                    riding a 2018 Heritage Classic Harley Davidson. Bradley is an Army   situations. The pilot told me, “I have to decide   choose faith over fear. For more information, or
                                                                                                                                                                    veteran and member of Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association,   on a daily basis to choose faith over fear.” Those   to speak with a Chaplain or Religious Affairs Air-
    Luke F-35s gas up on the fly                                                                                                                                                                                                   words stuck with me as a chaplain candidate. I   man, please contact Luke AFB Chapel: 856-6211.
                                                                                                                                                                    of which 36 other members also rode that day.

                                                                        A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned
                                                                        to the Arizona Air National
                                                                        Guard, 161st Air Fueling Wing,
                                                                        refuels an F-35A Lightning II as-
                                                                        signed to the 56th Fighter Wing
                                                                        at Luke Air Force Base, April 17,                         Senior Airman Alexander Cook
                                                                        2020, over Colorado. The KC-     An F-35A Lightning II takes off during a training sor-
                                                                                                         tie Jan. 7, 2020, over Luke Air Force Base, the home
                                                                        135, along with eight F-35s from   of numerous Arizona species of cacti. Pilots fly more
                                                                        the 63rd Fighter Squadron, 61st   than 100 sorties at Luke during a training day. The
                                                                        FS and the 308th FS, participat-  mission of Luke is to train the world’s greatest fight-
                                                                        ed in a refueling mission as the   er pilots and combat ready Airmen.
                                                                        F-35s traveled to the Air Force
                                                                        Academy for a flyover. The fly-
                                                                        over showcased the Air Force’s
                                                                        newest fifth-generation stealth   Luke trains in
                                                                        fighter, while offering a tribute
                                                                        to the class of 2020.            Gunfighter Flag exercise

                                                                       Photos by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder
                                                               An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the                          Senior Airman Danielle Charmichael
                                                               56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base,   An F-35A Lightning II pilot with the 56th Operations
                                                               Ariz., flies next to a KC-135 Stratotanker   Group prepares to refuel over southern Idaho Aug.
     Seven F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 63rd, 61st and 308th   assigned to the Arizona National Guard,   18, 2020. The F-35s were participating in a quarterly
     fighter squadrons at Luke Air Force Base, line up in formation   161st Air Refueling Wing April 17, 2020,   exercise known as Gunfighter Flag, in which United
     over Colorado. Eight F-35s performed a fly-over at the U.S. Air   over the Colorado Rockies. The mission   States partners and fighter squadrons nationwide
     Force Academy in honor of the graduating class of 2020. Luke   showcased the Air Force’s newest fifth-  train for air-to-air and air-to-ground scenarios to
     AFB exhibits the importance of teamwork between units, bases   generation stealth fighter, while offering a   maintain the lethality of the force.
     and military branches to execute the mission.             tribute to the 2020 class.
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