No Eglin F-35 Decision Yet

The Air Force on Nov. 21 said it had signed a record of decision that will begin the beddown the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group at Eglin AFB, Fla. However, the Air Force release stated that the ROD for the use of Eglin as the initial joint training site for the F-35 Lightning II will not be issued until next year. Both Eglin actions were part of the same environmental review process, but the F-35 issue has raised some concerns locally. The Northwest Florida Daily News reports that Air Force officials say the F-35 decision could take another 18 months, giving the service time to explore alternatives to offset an increase in noise that has concerned Valparaiso officials and residents. The Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for installations, Kathleen Ferguson, talked with Valparaiso and other community officials Friday, but, Valparaiso city attorney, Doug Wyckoff, told the newspaper, “It was a very fluffy discussion,” meaning there was little substantive information. However, Valparaiso mayor Bruce Arnold noted that Ferguson said the service would include city officials in future meetings with Eglin officials on the F-35 training program beddown.