The Department of the Air Force announced today its proposal to base 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. This proposal is contingent upon the result of a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS), which should be released in the early fall 2010, and includes the preferred alternative (Alt. 1A) of basing the 59 F-35 aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base main base. Flight operations will also be conducted at Duke and Choctaw Fields.
This decision, approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force, supports the recommendation of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission to establish the F-35 Initial Joint Training Center at Eglin.
“The Air Force has completed its initial analysis of a full range of alternatives and determined that basing 59 F-35s at Eglin main base is the preferred alternative,” said Kathleen Ferguson, Air Force deputy assistant secretary for installations.
“This is not a final basing decision; it is the alternative we believe will fulfill our mission responsibilities while considering economic, environmental, and technical factors. The community will be invited to comment on the alternatives presented in the SEIS.”
The record of decision is anticipated to be announced following the completion of the final SEIS.