The F-35 is the next generation strike fighter for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and America’s allies. Combined with its stealth and supersonic capabilities, the F-35s advanced airframe and avionics will ensure it is the most superior and affordable aircraft used by warfighters across the globe.
Currently scheduled to be deployed in 2013, the Air Force has begun the process of determining where to base the aircraft. Recently, the Air Force evaluated 205 facilities on their ability to host the F-35 and picked 11 as finalists. Both Mountain Home and Gowen Field were selected and ranked in the top of all categories considered. Mountain Home is a candidate for the operational mission and Gowen Field is a candidate for the training mission.
Having two sites rank so high reflects Idaho’s first-rate facilities, the value of Mountain Home’s open space and training ranges and the immense support the military men and women in Idaho receive. Depending on the quantity and type of missions, basing F-35s at both facilities in Idaho would be a major economic driver for southern Idaho. Selection of these two sites could bring 3,000 direct jobs to southwestern Idaho. As patriotic Americans who understand the need for a strong military, I encourage all Idahoans to join me in support of basing F-35s in Idaho.
You can do that by encouraging your county or city to pass resolutions in support of basing the F-35 at Gowen Field and Mountain Home. You can write a letter of support to the Air Force and sign this online petition. You can also attend public meetings and voice your support for the projects. The next round of meetings will be announced after the draft environmental impact statements are released. Check back often for updates on the public meeting schedule.