Community of former F-104 "Starfighter"-flyers of air force and marine

During the flight-training program of the Bundeswehr with the weapon-system F/TF-104 G in Luke AFB, Phoenix, Arizona, which was conducted from 1964 to 1983, the governor of Arizona founded the "Arizona Cactus Squadron" with the certificate:
"in honor of the young German men who will be appointed honorary citizens of the state after the flight-training".

This had been prompted by Tom Rhone whom LITTON had sent to take care of the Germans and who also founded the "USAF / Luftwaffe International Friendship Foundation" in 1976. Since then the foundation has been supporting local charity organizations and a student exchange program for which one student of a "flyer's family" is chosen in Germany.

The so called "Reunion" takes place every second year, simultaneously to the International Aerospace Exhibition & Conferences (ILA) in Berlin (since 1992). Meanwhile the community is called "Cactus Starfighter Squadron" and wants to continue these activities. In 1997 purpose and tasks were written down in the community's rules:

"Connected by common duty and the obliged to the standards of the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, the CSS is cherishing the tradition of military air service with special emphasis of the epoque of the F-104."