Hill and Burlington to Gain F-35 Operations

Hill AFB, Utah, and Burlington ANGS, Vt., are the Air Force’s two preferred bases for its initial batches of combat-ready F-35 strike fighters, USAF officials announced Thursday. Hill and Burlington were chosen for operations over candidate locations disclosed last October: Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, Shaw AFB/McEntire JNGB, S.C., and Jacksonville ANGS, Fla. (Some Air Force press releases erroneously stated Thursday that Beale AFB, Calif., was the choice for F-35 operations and training. Beale is the preferred site for MC-12 basing, and will not host the F-35.) Kathleen Ferguson, USAF’s installations lead, noted Thursday that these preferred locations do not yet constitute “a final basing decision.” USAF will continue with environmental impact studies regarding the beddown of 250 to 300 F-35s beyond those going to its initial schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla.