Montgomery's 187th Fighter Wing a finalist for F-35A - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

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Montgomery's 187th Fighter Wing a finalist for F-35A

(Source: 187th Fighter Wing, Alabama Air National Guard) (Source: 187th Fighter Wing, Alabama Air National Guard)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Air Force has selected the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field Air Guard Station in Montgomery as one of five finalists to be an Air National Guard F-35A Joint Strike Fighter location.

Survey teams will now visit the five bases selected as finalists and score them.

The other finalists are Gowen Field AGS, Boise, Idaho; Jacksonville AGS Florida; Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Detroit; and Truax AGS, Madison, Wisconsin.

The bases will be evaluated on factors like operational requirements, infrastructure and manpower.

The top two bases will be selected in the spring of 2017. The aircraft would begin arriving in the early to mid 2020s.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby called Dannelly Field an "ideal fit" for the F-35A. Roby released this statement:

“Alabama's 187th Fighter Wing is an excellent candidate for the F-35 program, which is evident by its placement on this short list. The F-35’s next-generation capabilities will give American aviators unquestioned air superiority in combat situations around the globe, and I have no doubt the men and women of the 187th will excel in their mission if selected for this program.
 
This is exciting news for Montgomery and the State of Alabama. The 187th Fighter Wing has long been a point of pride for our state, from its impressive combat track record in recent conflicts to its proud history as the legacy unit of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. I look forward to working alongside my Alabama delegation colleagues and community partners to make the case to the Air Force for why the 187th and Dannelly Field remain an ideal fit for this program." 

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell also congratulated Dannelly Field and voice her support. Sewell released this statement:

The 187th Fighter Wing has an unparalleled legacy of excellence worthy of praise and our continued investment,” said Rep. Sewell. “I continue to be a strong advocate for the 187th National Guard unit in my district. As a Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities that confront our nation. As such, I understand the importance of the 187th being awarded these new fighter jets to our mission of maintaining air-superiority and providing effective air-cover for our men and women deployed in combat zones.

“It is also imperative that the 187th remains a viable installation as an economic driver for the River Region. State estimates show that the military footprint  in  Alabama  provides 177,000  direct  and  indirect  jobs and  an  economic  impact totaling $17 billion, 12% of the State’s GDP.  Consequently, changes to the force or structure of the military in Alabama are felt across the State, and particularly in areas where installations are located, such as Montgomery, Alabama.” 

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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