It’s a New Basing World

USAF employed a new process called “strategic basing” in selecting the 11 initial sites to house the new F-35 strike fighter announced last month. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwarz last fall directed a new approach to address the allocation of the service’s 1,763 F-35s over some 20-plus years. Kathleen Ferguson, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, said a team spent nine months conducting a strategic review that began with a clear understanding of operational requirements. Despite an “aggressive timeline,” Ferguson said there was a “thorough research and review” to identify the 11 candidate sites that could field the new fighter between 2013 and 2017. The process also made Air National Guard leaders “really happy,” since they participated in the process and received five of the 11 slots, said Maj. Gen. Rick Moisio, ANG deputy director. (Air Force report by TSgt. Amaani Lyle)