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Air Force proposes initial Joint Strike Fighter locations

Air Force officials announced Oct. 4 the F-35 Lightning II will be initially located at seven military installations. The initial Joint Strike Fighter locations are Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Edwards AFB, Calif.; Hill AFB, Utah; Kadena Air Base, Japan; and Shaw AFB/McEntire Air National Guard Base, S.C. The Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation, supersonic stealth fighter designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft for the U.S. and eight partner nations. (Courtesy photo)

Air Force officials announced Oct. 4 the F-35 Lightning II will be initially located at seven military installations. The initial Joint Strike Fighter locations are Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Nellis AFB, Nev.; Edwards AFB, Calif.; Hill AFB, Utah; Kadena Air Base, Japan; and Shaw AFB/McEntire Air National Guard Base, S.C. The Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation, supersonic stealth fighter designed to replace a wide range of existing aircraft for the U.S. and eight partner nations. (Courtesy photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFPN) -- Plans for initiating environmental analyses for proposed locations of the Air Force's newest fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, were announced by Air Force officials Oct. 4.

The initial Joint Strike Fighter locations include:

-- Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., for primary maintenance and flight training;

-- Nellis AFB, Nev., and Edwards AFB, Calif., for flight-testing; and 

-- Hill AFB, Utah, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Shaw AFB/McEntire Air National Guard Base, S.C., for operational squadrons.

Both stateside operational bases will combine active duty and Reserve component members to maximize flexibility and combat capability. 

"Our environmental analyses will facilitate our decision-making process as these locations are evaluated," said Gen. T. Michael Moseley, Air Force chief of staff.

With this announcement, the Air Force will begin the environmental analysis process, which could take up to two years. Future environmental analyses will study traditional Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve bases along with a selection of active-duty bases.

"The capabilities we provide the joint warfighter are in high demand, yet we have the oldest aircraft inventory in our history," General Moseley said. "The Air Force will continue to invest in advanced capabilities needed to defeat the emerging technological advances of our adversaries."

The F-35 Lightning II basing plan will create a synergistic Total Force mix of active, Guard and Reserve units operating the Air Force's newest fifth generation fighter aircraft. The Total Force mix provides the best possible team to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States in the war on terrorism.

The Air Force is expected to start taking delivery of F-35A aircraft in 2009, with planned deliveries continuing beyond 2025.

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