U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) today made the following statement in response to the Air Force's announcement they plan to base 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base. This proposal will be based on the draft supplemental environmental impact study (SEIS), which should be released in the early fall 2010, and includes basing the 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base main base.
"Eglin is a premier base and establishing a F-35 Initial Joint Training Center was a natural fit considering the expansive range that covers Florida's panhandle and extends into the Gulf of Mexico," said LeMieux, a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. "While this is not the final basing decision, it is my hope we are able to bring additional aircraft to Eglin as originally planned. I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to get additional assets located to Northwest Florida, including Eglin, Hurlburt Field and Tyndall Air Force Base."
This decision is part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendation to establish the F-35 Initial Joint Training Center at Eglin. The record of decision is anticipated to be announced following the completion of the final SEIS.