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City of Goodyear, Arizona

Communications Office


For Immediate Release: March 8, 2011




Goodyear firefighter Hometown Hero takes F-16 flight

Kicking off Luke’s Air Show “70 Years of Thunder”



GOODYEAR, ARIZ. (March 8, 2011) Goodyear firefighter Oscar Navarro has been named Hometown Hero by Luke Air Force Base, and will take flight in an F-16 as part of Luke’s Open House and Air Show, “70 Years of Thunder,” in celebration of the 70th anniversary of this influential U.S. Air Force base.


Navarro’s flight is planned for March 17, kicking off a two-day celebration of Luke AFB’s 70th anniversary from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20. Crowd-pleasing favorites will include performances by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Demonstration Team, with precision aerial maneuvers featuring the capabilities of these high performance aircraft. The U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Demonstration Team, Deer Valley Warbirds, and many more are scheduled to appear. Spellbinding performances with modern and classic aircraft, exhibitions, vendors, and fun for all ages will also be featured during this free, family-friendly event.


Before Navarro takes to the skies in the high-performance F-16 fighter jet, he will receive a thorough briefing and technical training, including suiting up and practicing for high-G flight, managing physical challenges, and preparing for emergencies such as emergency ejection procedures.


For dates and times of Navarro’s Hometown Hero flight training and F-16 flight, contact Jodi Jordan at 623-856-6012 or email her at


Media credentialing procedures are mandatory and must be completed well in advance of any coverage on base. For media credentials, contact the 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at 623-856-6012 or, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


About Oscar Navarro, Hometown Hero of the Year


Goodyear firefighter Oscar Navarro, 25, has been selected as a hometown hero by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team, and will take to the air in an F-16 fighter jet as part of 70 Years of Thunder, celebrating the 70th anniversary of Luke Air Force Base and the annual Open House and Air Show.

A dedicated firefighter, Navarro is also a member of Goodyear’s Wildland firefighting team, which assisted in the 2009 Station Fire in the Los Angeles area, one of the largest and deadliest of more than 60 wildfires that year, burning more than 160,000 acres and killing two firefighters. His strike team saved 23 homes during their first three days on the scene. Navarro is also a member of the Goodyear Hazmat team, and is often the first to respond to extremely dangerous situations involving gas leaks, chemicals, and other toxic materials.


Navarro is also a dedicated member of the community. He launched the first of what has become the annual Ricky Melrose Dodge ball Tournament three years ago, as a fund-raiser to assist Goodyear Police Officer Ricky Melrose after he was injured in the line of duty.  Navarro works tirelessly to help raise awareness and support for burn victims, especially children’s burn camp and centers. When the City of Goodyear Fill-A-Need program gears up to help families in need during the holiday season, Navarro is always there, collection contributions, wrapping gifts, assembling bikes, and personally delivering gifts.


Navarro also shares his passion for his work as a firefighter with high school students throughout the Valley as an instructor in the Fire Science program, teaching and mentoring young people interested in careers as firefighters.


With a strong sense of faith, Navarro is driven to participate in as many charitable efforts as possible, and even left his part-time job as an EMT in order to devote more time to charities most in need of attention. Originally from an area near Rocky Point, Mexico, Navarro thinks often of the community from which he came. He spearheads fundraising efforts every year so he and his fellow firefighters can buy supplies and build homes that, when completed, are given to families of the area who are in dire need of assistance.


Navarro is always there, ready and eager to put his life on the line as a first responder; to raise money for the burn center; to travel to Mexico and build much-needed homes; to help support as many charitable activities as possible. His everyday efforts have touched the lives of many people in our city, and reached others who live far beyond Goodyear’s boundaries. The City of Goodyear applauds Oscar Navarro.

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City of Goodyear • 190 N. Litchfield Road • Goodyear AZ 85338 • Phone 623-932-3910 • Toll-Free 1-800-872-1749