Thursday, July 29, 2010

Air Force Announces F-35 Basing Proposal

The Department of the Air Force announced today Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as the preferred alternatives for operational and training F-35 Joint Strike Fighter bases.

Teams surveyed each candidate base for feasibility, timing, cost and planning purposes to meet initial operational capability timelines.

The preferred alternative locations are:

- Operations - Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt.

- Training - Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

"This is not a final basing decision," said Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary for installations. "The preferred alternatives with other reasonable alternatives will continue to be evaluated in the environmental impact analysis process."

A preferred alternative is an alternative which the Air Force believes best fulfills its mission and responsibilities, taking into consideration environmental, operational, technical and other factors.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley previously announced five operations candidate bases Oct. 29, 2009. They included Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; Shaw Air Force Base / McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.; Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt.; and Jacksonville Air Guard Station, Fla.

The secretary announced training base candidates Oct. 29, 2009. They included Boise AGS, Idaho; Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and Tucson Air Guard Station, Ariz.

The current scope of this basing action includes 250 to 300 F-35 aircraft.

The JSF is the next generation strike fighter bringing cutting-edge technologies to the battle space of the future. In the Air Force, the F-35 will primarily service an air-to-ground role, replace aging the F-16 and A-10 aircraft while complementing the F-22. The Navy and Marine Corps plan on using the F-35, along with international partners.