The Air Force has identified 18 sites it will consider in its search for two Air National Guard bases to host F-35A Lightning II squadrons, officials said Wednesday.
The two Guard installations are scheduled to receive their first aircraft in the summer of 2022. Air Combat Command and the Air National Guard will conduct site surveys at each candidate location in an effort to narrow the list to four sites, spokesman Capt. Mark Graff told the Wisconsin State Journal. At that point, the service will conduct environmental impact analyses before making a final decision.
“The basing criteria are mission (including weather, airspace and training range availability), capacity (hangar, runway, ramp space and facilities considerations), environmental requirements and cost factors,” Graff said.
Currently, three active-duty bases and one Air National Guard base have been chosen to host the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.
The airfields under consideration in the current selection round are:
- Atlantic City Airport, N.J.;
- Barnes Airport, Mass.;
- Boise Air Terminal, Idaho;
- Buckley AFB, Colo.;
- Duluth Airport, Minn.;
- Fresno Yosemite Airport, Calif.;
- Fort Wayne Airport, Ind.;
- Jacksonville Airport, Fla.;
- Joe Foss Field, S.D.;
- Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility, Washington, D.C.;
- McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C.;
- Montgomery Regional Airport, Ala.;
- Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La.;
- Portland Airport, Ore.;
- Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich.;
- Toledo Express Airport, Ohio;
- Truax Field, Wis.; and
- Tulsa Airport, Okla.
The Air Force first announced it would select candidate bases for two Air National Guard squadrons in April.