GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Department of Defense has chosen Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz., for the new pilot training center for the F-35 fighter jets.
The 71-year-old base west of Phoenix was competing with bases in Tucson, New Mexico and Idaho for the F-35 mission.
Glendale officials said the Air Force will station 72 F-35s at Luke for the training of both U.S. and foreign pilots.
Air Force officials said in a statement that Luke was chosen because of facility and ramp capacity, range access, weather, as well as capacity for future growth.
Arizona leaders had lobbied for the F-35s to ensure Luke's economic vitality with a strong mission as the F-16s used for training have been drawn down.
Glendale officials said Luke could receive up to $125 million in federal funds for construction-related projects.
Earlier this year, the Air Force held several public hearing in Boise to discuss the impacts of bringing the F-35s to Gowen Field.