19th Air Force command team visits Luke AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mason Hargrove
  • 56th Fighter Wing

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Maj. Gen. Clark J. Quinn, 19th Air Force commander, and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Justin Apticar, 19th Air Force command chief, visited Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, 2024.

During the visit, the 19th Air Force command team evaluated operations, engaged with Airmen, and discussed strategic directions on building airpower with wing leadership.

 “Our Airmen here at Luke are the backbone of air superiority,” said Quinn. “Our visit today confirms their training and operational readiness continues to be unmatched. It’s clear the programs in place are shaping a robust future for our Air Force.”

The 19th Air Force oversees the 56th Fighter Wing and is responsible for the training of more than 30,000 U.S. and international military students annually, in a variety of specialties ranging from manned aircraft aircrews, remotely piloted aircraft crews, air battle managers, weapons directors, Air Force Academy Airmanship programs, and Survival, Escape, Resistance, and Evasion specialists.

During his visit, Quinn toured Gila Bend Auxiliary Field and received a briefing on the 1.1-million-acre Barry M. Goldwater Range, where pilots from Luke AFB and their ally and partner nations practice in-flight maneuvers essential for operational readiness.

Quinn spent time with the 56th Maintenance Group and 56th Medical Group at Luke AFB where he recognized outstanding Airmen from various units including the 56th Fabrication Flight, the 56th Munitions Systems storage facilities, and the 56th Medical Group. 

He later met with 56th Mission Support Group and Wing leadership to discuss enhancements to base infrastructure and Airmen’s quality of life.

“Improving our Airmen’s quality of life is key to strengthening the core of our wing, guaranteeing a force that is both resilient and prepared,” said Brig. Gen. Jason Rueschhoff, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “Dedicated initiatives to enhance living standards and support frameworks are closely linked with our operational efficiency and the success of our mission.”

The tour concluded with an all-call at the base theater, where Quinn and Apticar engaged with the entire wing in a question-and-answer session.

“The evolving landscape of threats requires our undivided attention and demands agility in our mission execution,” said Apticar. “To navigate these challenges successfully, it’s imperative that we develop and rely on multi-capable Airmen who can adapt and excel in a variety of roles.”

The 19th Air Force command team visit showcased Luke AFB’s dedication to excellence and readiness while highlighting its mission-ready Airmen and their commitment to advancing airpower now and into the future.