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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Air Force releases list of potential locations for F-35

From the Pentagon today:

Air Force officials here announced today the list of candidate locations for basing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The list of candidate bases was approved by the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force and identifies the first group of bases to be considered for joint strike fighter basing decisions. The selection of these bases signifies the Air Force’s determination that these locations have the greatest potential to accommodate the F-35 training or operational mission.


Eleven bases have been selected as candidate bases and include for training:
Boise Air Terminal Air Guard Station, Idaho, Eglin AFB, Fla., Holloman AFB N.M., Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Tuscon International Airport Air Guard Station, Ariz. The six bases selected as candidate bases for operations are: Burlington International Airport Guard Station, Vt., Hill AFB, Utah, Jacksonville International Airport Air Guard Station, Fla, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, Shaw AFB, and McEntire Air Guard Base, S.C.

The Air Force will evaluate existing F-22 force structure at Holloman AFB, N.M. as it considers F35 basing.

“The selection of this candidate list is the result of a deliberate, repeatable, standardized and transparent process,” said Ms. Kathleen Ferguson, Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary for Installations. “We are excited about the future of the joint strike fighter and look forward to working with each of the communities surrounding these bases to ensure all of their concerns are addressed.”

The list of candidate bases were selected using previously announced basing criteria such as airspace, flight training ranges, weather, support facilities, runways, taxi ramps, environmental concerns; and military judgment factors such as combatant commander requirements, aircraft retirements and delivery schedules, aircraft maintenance and logistics support, and integration with the Air National Guard and Reserve.

Now that the list of candidate bases has been released, the formal environmental impact analysis process and site assessments will begin, allowing communities around each candidate base to participate and provide input into the environmental impact analysis. Based on the results of these efforts, officials expect to announce the JSF preferred locations in late Spring 2010. Once the formal Environmental Impact Statements are complete, Air Force officials will issue the Records of Decision and announce the final basing decisions. This is anticipated in early 2011.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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