Alaska bases closer to winning F-35 fleet

[mc_name name=’Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M001153′ ] and the other members of the Alaska Congressional delegation are applauding an Air Force announcement indicating their interest in basing 48 F-35 fighter jets in their state, possibly at Eielson Air Force Base. The Air Force issued a notice last week that it would begin meetings in Alaska to discuss an environmental impact study, the first step towards bringing the F-35 to Eielson.

According to coverage in The Hill:

“There may never have been a time when America needed Alaska and our military might more than it does right now, with rogue and unpredictable threats emerging to our west — and I have welcomed all the indications that they are moving forward with their F-35s to Eielson Air Force Base,” [mc_name name=’Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M001153′ ] (R), chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement.

“Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with several senior Air Force leaders, including the Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Welsh, and they all have assured me that Alaska is home to the nation’s largest training ranges, the best airspace, and some of the very best airmen in the Air Force,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The notice is a “giant leap towards bringing the F-35 to the most strategic place in the world — and with Russia militarizing the Arctic, these F-35s can’t arrive soon enough,” he added.

“With our superior size, diverse landscape, and unique environment, I’ve always said that there’s no better place to house the first generation of F-35 fighters than Alaska. Today’s announcement is another great step to making that a reality,” said [mc_name name=’Rep. Don Young (R-AK)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’Y000033′ ] (R).

Read the full coverage at The Hill, and visit F35.com for more information on the Joint Strike Fighter program.