USAF selects two fields for Air National Guard F-35A basing

16 April 2020 (Last Updated April 16th, 2020 14:50)

The US Air Force (USAF) has chosen two Air National Guard Base fields as new homes for its F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

USAF selects two fields for Air National Guard F-35A basing
The budget has allocated $5.8bn to purchase 48 F-35A Lightning II aircraft. Credit: USAF / Master Sgt Donald R Allen.

The US Air Force (USAF) has chosen two Air National Guard Base fields as new homes for its F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

The two Air National Guard F-35A Lightning II locations are Truax Field in Wisconsin and Dannelly Field in Alabama.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said: “The Department of the Air Force selected the 115th Fighter Wing and the 187th Fighter Wing as the next Air National Guard locations to receive the F-35A.

“Putting F-35s at these two bases continues our transition into the next generation of air superiority.”

The USAF has concluded the necessary environmental analysis prior to making the final basing decision. The analysis began in early 2018.

The Truax and Dannelly fields are expected to start welcoming the F-35A aircraft in 2023, according to the USAF.

Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the UK, and Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, and Burlington Air Guard Station in Vermont are currently serving as the active-duty operational locations for the F-35.

In addition, USAF’s Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, is also expected to house the aircraft. An environmental study has been already conducted and results are awaited.

The USAF’s F-35A is a fifth-generation aircraft built by Lockheed Martin. The conventional take-off and landing variant will replace a number of older fourth-generation jets.

It is designed to provide advanced stealth capabilities and increased lethality.

The F-35As will be operated by the service in combination with fourth-generation fighter jets into the 2040s.