Published: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 3:27 PM
By: Barrie Barber - Staff Writer
Two Air National Guard bases will become the next places to home base the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force announced Thursday.
Truax Field Air National Guard Base in Madison, Wisconsin and Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama were chosen to fly the stealth fighter, beginning in 2023.
The Air Force previously announced three active-duty bases at Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath, England; and Eiselson Air Force Base, Alaska, and one ANG location, Burlington Air Guard Station, Vermont, as the future sites of F-35 operations.
In its latest assessment of where to base the jets, other bases that were finalists included Gowen Field Air National Guard Base, Idaho; Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mount Clemens, Michigan; and Jacksonville Air Guard Station in Jacksonville, Florida.
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas is a “preferred alternative” for a possible Air Force Reserve unit, a statement said.
The Air Force has plans to buy 1,793 of the planes that have faced technical glitches and delays during years in development. The Air Force declared the jet ready for initial operations last year.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has an F-35 Division that develops new technologies for the fifth-generation stealth fighter.