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Jun 14, 2012 11:26 AM

Study finds Luke AFB first choice for F-35s

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Luke Air Force Base appears to be the U.S. Air Force's first choice for the location of a new training center for F-35 fighter jets.

The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/Lo0QNs) reports the Air Force released a study Wednesday, saying the base in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale is the preferred site.

The study analyzed the potential noise, land-use and other issues surrounding Luke and three other sites in New Mexico, Idaho and at the Tucson International Airport.

Officials expect to announce a final decision in July.

If chosen, Luke could receive up to $125 million in federal funds for construction-related projects and F-35s could arrive as early as next year.

The F-35 is intended to eventually replace the aging F-16. The base has long been the training ground for F-16 pilots.

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