Montgomery airshow lifts capital city's chances to land F-35 jet - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Montgomery airshow lifts capital city's chances to land F-35 jet

The F-35 could land in Montgomery. (Source: Dept. of Defense) The F-35 could land in Montgomery. (Source: Dept. of Defense)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama leaders are working overtime to make sure Montgomery lands the F-35 stealth jet fighter. The capital city and Maxwell AFB are on the short list of five places that could be a home base for the combat aircraft.

Local leaders say last weekend's airshow at Maxwell was a huge success and helped the city's chances. The event brought in an estimated $10 million and also brought some high-profile decision makers from the Air Force whom business and political leaders are doing everything they can to build relationships with.

According to the city's F-35 Task Force, Montgomery is well-positioned to land the plane...literally.

Also helping Montgomery's chances, two of the five cities on the shortlist will be selected as a home base for the F-35. The other finalists are Gowen Field AGS, Boise, Idaho; Jacksonville AGS Florida; Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Detroit; and Truax AGS, Madison, Wisconsin.

"Of the five final competitors, we're the only one, Dannelly is the only one that's sitting next to an Air Force Base," said Paul Hankins, Co-Chair of the F-35 Task Force.

The community support for that event was through the roof. More than 160,000 people were on base for the event and an additional 15,000 watched off base. Decision makers have also reportedly been impressed with the men and women of the 187th and the community's support.

"The 187th has demonstrated professionalism and the capability to take on this F-35 mission," stated U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-District 2, "and the community support is just such a bonus."

The F-35 is a new and advanced stealth that would replace the 30-year-old F-16s that are currently being flown at Dannelly Field. That's important because if those older F-16s are grounded due to age, it could have a big negative financial impact on the community.

Consultants with ties to the Air Force and similar bids have also been hired. Next week, they'll be going through the first of two practice presentations, tying up any loose ends before the real deal.

"We'll critique them and that will be a build up to the actual visit in May," Hankins said. "The consultants will be back again right before the visit to do it again with them, make sure we have all the answers to the questions before they're asked."

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • Special CoverageF-35 Lightning IIMore>>

  • Montgomery Chamber: 187th Fighter Wing, Montgomery a winning combo for F-35

    Montgomery Chamber: 187th Fighter Wing, Montgomery a winning combo for F-35

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 5:19 PM EDT2017-08-16 21:19:34 GMT
    It takes a great team to have a successful mission, says the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. In Montgomery, partnership is our greatest asset. From the historic legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, to the reputation for effectiveness in battle of the 187th, to the enduring relationship between the community and the Air Force, Montgomery has everything it takes to maximize the next bed down of the F-35.  More >>
    It takes a great team to have a successful mission, says the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. In Montgomery, partnership is our greatest asset. From the historic legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, to the reputation for effectiveness in battle of the 187th, to the enduring relationship between the community and the Air Force, Montgomery has everything it takes to maximize the next bed down of the F-35.  More >>
  • Montgomery Chamber: Bring the F-35 to Alabama

    Montgomery Chamber: Bring the F-35 to Alabama

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 5:16 PM EDT2017-08-16 21:16:19 GMT
    The 187th Fighter Wing based at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama is the ideal location to bed down the new F-35 Lighting II, the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce says. More >>
    The 187th Fighter Wing based at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama is the ideal location to bed down the new F-35 Lighting II, the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce says. More >>
  • Montgomery Chamber: F-35 is a chance to preserve and grow Alabama jobs

    Montgomery Chamber: F-35 is a chance to preserve and grow Alabama jobs

    Wednesday, August 16 2017 5:10 PM EDT2017-08-16 21:10:34 GMT
     Landing the F-35 in Montgomery, Alabama is more than just the planes, the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce says. It's preserving over 1400 existing jobs and adding 1000 additional highly-skilled jobs. More >>
     Landing the F-35 in Montgomery, Alabama is more than just the planes, the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce says. It's preserving over 1400 existing jobs and adding 1000 additional highly-skilled jobs. More >>
Powered by Frankly