The city of Goodyear remains front and center when it comes to being poised and prepared for the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II Fighter Jet pilot training program at Luke Air Force Base in early 2014.
But right now, members of the Luke West Valley Council – the regional group promoting the success of Luke and the economic vitality the F-35s are projected to bring to the region, are moving forward with Goodyear helping to steer more success for the future.
Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord was nominated and elected to be the incoming Co-Chair of the Luke West Valley Council during its quarterly meeting on Thursday, Dec. 19. Mayor Lord was thrilled to be elected to co-chair the group, along with Luke Air Force Base Brigadier General Michael Rothstein.
Mayor Lord succeeds El Mirage Mayor Lana Mook as co-chair to the council, which has more than 20 members.
“It’s an honor to be nominated and elected by my peers to serve on the group that represents our region,” Mayor Lord said. “Not only is the future of Luke Air Force Base vital to our city, but it is important to the region and state of Arizona and our country. Many people serving in the military or military-related jobs call Goodyear their home, and we’re proud that we were part of the partnership that was able to help secure the F-35 Fighter Jet program at Luke through strong community support.”
In her role as co-chair, Mayor Lord will lead the meetings and discussions in how to further the success of the base as it moves forward with expansion and other programs. Luke expects to see $260 million of construction over the next decade and other support businesses are expected to open with the arrival of the F-35A fighter pilot training program next year.
Luke West Valley formed in the 1980s to garner regional and community support for the importance of Luke’s success in the region. The group is comprised of Luke AFB officials, elected officials from 12 West Valley cities and Maricopa County as well as representatives from the governing bodies of Sun City and Sun City West. The meetings are also often attended by West Valley legislators and outside organizations that support and partner with Luke Air Force Base.
The Air Force has credited the strong community support as a factor that led to Luke Air Force Base being awarded the F-35 Mission by the Department of Defense.