Residents in neighborhoods close to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are becoming increasingly concerned about what aircraft could be based at the Tucson, Ariz., installation in the future when its three squadrons of A-10 attack jets are replaced.
The base’s neighbors are resigned to the noise levels generated by the A-10, but many oppose other possible missions, including F-16 and F-35 fighters, due to the louder noise profiles of those aircraft, reported the Arizona Daily Star. Last year, 19 neighborhood associations signed a letter opposing any plan to house F-35s at the installation.
At the same time, Davis-Monthan supporters — including the DM50 and the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance — believe the installation could be in jeopardy if it doesn’t gain an F-35 mission.
Base officials have altered flight patterns to minimize noise over neighborhoods and increased the use of other airfields to practice landings, Davis-Monthan’s community liaison told the Star.
Under the Air Force’s plan, which Congress so far plans to block, the installation would lose its 83 A-10Cs and gain 21 Reserve F-16s by 2019. A small squadron of F-16s currently is based at Davis-Monthan.