Elected Officials Embrace F-35 Basing at Hearing on Hill AFB
Local and federal officials representing northern Utah were unanimous in minimizing potential environmental impacts of basing three squadrons of F-35 fighter jets at Hill Air Force Base during a public hearing Tuesday.
Although the F-35 will generate more noise during takeoff than the F-16, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) said, “Utah fully supports the stationing of the first three squadrons of F-35s at Hill Air Force Base … I believe the patriotic communities of Layton and Davis County will be supportive.”
Rep. Rob Bishop (R) made the case that Hill’s favorable assets make the basing decision easy, reported the Standard-Examiner. Hill’s unique qualification to have the aircraft “can be summed up in four words: Utah Test and Training Range,” he said, referring to the giant bombing range across the Great Salt Lake from the installation.
Some residents attended the hearing to express their concerns about the potential for higher noise levels, according to the story.
The hearing was one of a series being conducted at proposed locations to host operational units of the F-35 Lightning II. Hill is the Air Force’s preferred alternative for the active duty operational location. The active alternatives under consideration are Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, and Shaw AFB, S.C.