PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Airmen at Luke Air Force Base are used to battling excessive heat, as temperatures on the tarmac run about 15 degrees hotter than the forecast high.
If you think 117°F is hot, you can't imagine what the crew Luke has to endure. When the jets are all here, and all the engines are on, it could get up to 160°F. but the crews can't let extreme heat get in the way of keeping their fleet of F-16 jets combat-ready.
"Normal, guess is 130°F out here when we're launches and stuff in the middle of the day," said Crew Chief Jonathan Judd.
In order to survive 130°F heat, crew members use cold towels, take air-conditioned breaks, drink a lot of water, and eventually develop a tolerance.
"Its something I've been doing for eight years," said Judd. "I'm used to the heat. It doesn't bother me. Gotten used to stay hydrated."
Heat tolerance is something one airman from the East Coast is going to have to build. Summer 2018 is his first summer in Arizona. The airman, Franklin Chicas, works in the security pit, checking vehicles before they enter the base.
"It gets humid out there, but I've never seen heat over 100°F. It's pretty rough," said Chicas. "I just pray to god I don't pass out."
If you have to stay out and work in the heat, the bottom line is water, water, and more water.