Alabama delegates praised for F-35, focusing on Tuskegee and T-100

Alabama delegates praised for F-35, focusing on Tuskegee and T-100
Alabama delegates presented with framed Red Tails

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - During the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce's Eggs and Issues, Senator Richard Shelby, Congresswomen Martha Roby, and Terri Sewell were praised for their efforts in helping to land the F-35 in Montgomery.

Mayor Todd Strange, Chairman of the Montgomery County Commission Elton Dean and members of the 187th Fighter Wing gifted the Alabama delegates with framed pictures of the past, present, and future Red Tail aircraft.

"You can't go anywhere in the world, to someone that knows anything about air power, and not know what a red tail means," Brig. Gen. Randy Efferson said. "When those B-17 pilots look out the window and saw those Red Tails they go 'they got our backs', and I'll tell you these three folks right here had our backs,"

Following the City of Montgomery's landing of the F-35, Alabama representatives are now focusing their sights on Tuskegee.

Tuskegee continues to wait, hoping on a bid from Global aerospace and defense firm Leonardo DRS. If it comes through, the next generation T-100, a training aircraft will bring 750 jobs to the area.

The project, which would begin in 2019, would bring a total investment in the T-100 project's buildings, infrastructure, and equipment that would exceed $200 million to $250 million.

Sewell praised the work Alabama's delegation accomplished as a team for the F-35 but said there is work left to be done.

"We still have work to do," Sewell said. "I know Tuskegee is trying to land the T-100, so we still have work to do. We have shown ourselves to an awesome team and I know that this congressional delegation will be relied upon to help them as well."

When asked about efforts to bring the T-100 to Tuskegee, Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood said the city was anxious and excited for the announcement.

"We are excited about the T-100, especially after the success of the F-35 here in Montgomery," Haygood said. "We think it will compliment what's going on here in Montgomery, we see the excitement from the U.S. Representatives along with the Senator,"

Roby said moving forward with the T-100, the F-35 project can serve as an example.

"If it's good for Tuskegee, it's good for the entire state. Our delegation has a strong, long history of putting Alabama first," Roby said. "I think you will continue to see in these efforts or any others to bring economic growth, additional missions for our military footprint in this state, you will always see the Alabama delegation locked arms and working together to bring that to our great state of Alabama,"

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