Governor Jan Brewer released the following statement in response to today's release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement on the basing of the new F-35A Joint Strike Fighter:
"I am delighted by today's news that the U.S. Air Force has maintained Luke Air Force Base as the preferred alternative for the military's new Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35A Lightning II.
"Luke AFB has long enjoyed a well-earned reputation for training the best pilots in the Air Force. With the arrival of the F-35, the base can continue this tradition for decades to come. Additionally, the Tucson Air
Guard Station -- home of the 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson International Airport -- also is a candidate to receive future F-35 assignments. Tucson AGS, with its potential to house as many as 72 Joint Strike Fighters, is an exceptionally attractive candidate for future F-35 operations."
"The fact that Arizona has two of the four finalists for F-35 placement is a testament to the quality of
these facilities and the unwavering support they receive from the people of Arizona, its elected officials and
local communities. Luke AFB and Tucson AGS are uniquely-qualified for the training of F-35 pilots, from our
exceptional climate to the valuable air space provided by the Barry M. Goldwater Range and Libby Army Air
"I encourage the citizens of Arizona to attend public hearings scheduled in February in order to make
their opinions known on the basing of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. It's important that the Air Force hear from the people of Arizona before making this critical decision.
"I look forward to July 2012, when a final decision will be announced on the basing of the F-35. I'm confident the Air Force will conclude what those of us in Arizona already know: That Luke Air Force Base and
the Tucson Air Guard Station are the perfect choice for this next-generation aircraft."