USA — Air Force Announces F‑35 Basing Proposal

The Depart­ment of the Air Force announced today its pro­pos­al to base 59 F‑35 air­craft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This pro­pos­al is con­tin­gent upon the result of a draft sup­ple­men­tal envi­ron­men­tal impact state­ment (SEIS), which should be released in the ear­ly fall 2010, and includes the pre­ferred alter­na­tive (Alt. 1A) of bas­ing the 59 F‑35 air­craft at Eglin Air Force Base main base. Flight oper­a­tions will also be con­duct­ed at Duke and Choctaw Fields.

This deci­sion, approved by the sec­re­tary and chief of staff of the Air Force, sup­ports the rec­om­men­da­tion of the 2005 Base Realign­ment and Clo­sure Com­mis­sion to estab­lish the F‑35 Ini­tial Joint Train­ing Cen­ter at Eglin.

“The Air Force has com­plet­ed its ini­tial analy­sis of a full range of alter­na­tives and deter­mined that bas­ing 59 F‑35s at Eglin main base is the pre­ferred alter­na­tive,” said Kath­leen Fer­gu­son, Air Force deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary for instal­la­tions.

“This is not a final bas­ing deci­sion; it is the alter­na­tive we believe will ful­fill our mis­sion respon­si­bil­i­ties while con­sid­er­ing eco­nom­ic, envi­ron­men­tal, and tech­ni­cal fac­tors. The com­mu­ni­ty will be invit­ed to com­ment on the alter­na­tives pre­sent­ed in the SEIS.”

The record of deci­sion is antic­i­pat­ed to be announced fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the final SEIS.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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