From Thunderbolts to Lightnings, Moody Air Force Base is slated for a big change in the coming years.
The Department of the Air Force announced plans June 26 for the Georgia base to host the F-35A Lightning II starting in fiscal 2029, replacing its A-10 Thunderbolt IIs that are slated to be retired.
Moody isn’t the only base set to get a new mission to replace departing A-10s—the Air Force also announced that Gowen Field Air National Guard Base, Idaho, will transition to F-16s in spring 2027.
The selections of Moody and Gowen Field will not be finalized until environmental impact analyses are complete, the former in the fall of 2025 and the latter in the spring of 2025.
The 23rd Fighter Group arrived at Moody with its A-10Cs in 2007, and Air Force Reserve Command’s 476th Fighter Group, which also flies the A-10, stood up in 2009. In April, the base bid farewell to its first A-10 in years, sending it to the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
But while that A-10 was replaced by one from the Indiana Air National Guard, the Air Force now plans to end operations of the aging close air support aircraft at the base. According to a release, the plan is to retire six of Moody’s A-10s in fiscal 2024 if Congress approves the service’s request to cut 42 across the fleet.
From there, the other 48 A-10s at Moody would be retired through fiscal 2028 and replaced over time by two squadrons of F-35s.
The Idaho Air National Guard’s A-10s are slated to start retiring in the fall of 2026.
The decision to base F-35s at Moody adds to the growing number of locations the Air Force has charted out for its newest fighter. Already, there are F-35s stationed at:
- Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
- Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
- Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
- RAF Lakenheath, U.K.
- Burlington Air National Guard Base, Vt.
- Truax Field, Wisc.
There are another five planned locations, with aircraft projected to arrive anywhere from this fall to several years from now:
- Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
- Dannelly Field, Ala.
- Jacksonville Air National Guard Base, Fla.
- Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass.
- Kingsley Field, Ore.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated June 28 after the Air Force updated its release to change the expected arrival of F-35s at Moody Air Force Base and the number of personnel associated with the change.