F16_missing_frmtion Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization
that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that
it was there long before they were.

A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back.
Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local
paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the
mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it
must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

"Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the
morning air show?

Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation
of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over
Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom
Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to
impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special? Any response would be
appreciated."

The response:

Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke’s jets" (Letters, Thursday): On June 15,
at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship flyby of F-16s from the
63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt.
Jeremy Fresques.

Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke
Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a.m. on
June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun
City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

Based on the letter writer’s recount of the flyby, and because of the jet
noise, I’m sure you didn’t hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or
my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their
son’s flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those
veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have
endured. A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to
those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional
aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer
witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?" The
56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow
and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their
honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, CO 63rd Fighter Squadron Luke AFB

Comments

  1. good stuff skipper. Thanks.
    Although I retired over24 years ago i still get chills of pride when I see a flight of military aircraft in a flyover..I know that the fly over has a purpose and may well be for one of my brothers or sisters and if not it is a valuable training mission.

  2. good stuff skipper. Thanks.
    Although I retired over24 years ago i still get chills of pride when I see a flight of military aircraft in a flyover..I know that the fly over has a purpose and may well be for one of my brothers or sisters and if not it is a valuable training mission.

  3. good stuff skipper. Thanks.
    Although I retired over24 years ago i still get chills of pride when I see a flight of military aircraft in a flyover..I know that the fly over has a purpose and may well be for one of my brothers or sisters and if not it is a valuable training mission.

  4. Amazing that some people think the government allows these guys just to blast around for the hell of it isn’t it?
    I also read that after this guy got his major tongue lashing, he held his head in shame and was mortified by the letter he wrote and turned around and wrote about how embarassed he was and sent out a sincere apology.

  5. I hope he had the sense to AT LEAST do that much. So many are so quick to complain w/o knowing anything about the situation. Too much time on their hands perhaps?!

  6. Thanks Major. Lt. Col. Pleus got it right, I live near Ft. Lewis, McCord AFB and Bremerton Naval yards. Having spent a small bit of my time in the military I always enjoy the flyovers from both McCord AFB and Fort Lewis. They are never frivolous and always have a purpose. occasionally I’ll be thrilled by a Navy fast mover too. The only thing that ever bothers me is artillery at Fort Lewis, it sometimes wakes me, which, once identified, I can dismiss as outgoing friendly fire. Having been to too many military funerals my whole being goes out to those lost brothers and sisters. I’m always glad they are there covering our six.

  7. Our prayers and best wishes to Capt.Fresques Family.Being stationed at PAFB before all the base closings here in northern ny,I was able to see the f-16,f-4-fb-111 and the old mule refulers kc-135’s.My favorites were the A-10’s..The town complained about the night time engine testing and the roaring of the air strip.So the base commander stopped all night time noise after 9pm unless it was during red flag etc.Were supposed to fight a war just during the day?At least this gentlemen appolagised.Outstanding job by Lt Col Pleus CO 63 fighter sq go air force.. Semper Fi

  8. Wow, I don’t even know what to say to that. I can’t believe someone would even write something like that in the first place.
    I love the LtCol’s response though. I hope the a*@ who wrote the paper is literally sick with guilt right now!

  9. My office is in the flight path of our local Air Guard – a refueling wing. When they ramped up for their last deployment, there was one clueless person in the office who complained about the fly-overs.
    “What’s THAT NOISE?”
    Several people looked at me and our former AF Intell person; and just grinned when we chorused (in a unison we couldn’t have got better if we’d practiced), “The sound of Freedom!”

  10. Wow. We saw four of those planes fly over us in Houston one day and the were really a sight to see! I had no idea that it was to honor the fallen. Thank you for educating me.

  11. Wow. We saw four of those planes fly over us in Houston one day and the were really a sight to see! I had no idea that it was to honor the fallen. Thank you for educating me.

  12. Wow. We saw four of those planes fly over us in Houston one day and the were really a sight to see! I had no idea that it was to honor the fallen. Thank you for educating me.

  13. Wow. We saw four of those planes fly over us in Houston one day and the were really a sight to see! I had no idea that it was to honor the fallen. Thank you for educating me.

  14. With the country at war…
    With the price of fuel…
    Oh sure, they’re just goofing off.
    and with a twitty actor as the measurable reference? (obviously the armchair observer has his “wannabe’s” skewed) but doesn’t seem he thinks beyond his own corner of the couch anyway. I am comforted by the class and eloquence of Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, calm and couth. Very, very aware that every single day we each have a choice: this guy chose the mall (over even minor perception or logic, much less any emotional intelligence). Every bit of that opportunity to choose comes from those hard ones who know how and know when it’s most expedient to make a bit a noise, and who choose even with care for those who don’t appreciate. Great post Major, God bless you in all ways, and our forces, and each who believe in freedom.

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