Press Releases

Idaho Locations Named as Potential Home of F-35’s

One Step Closer to Joint Strike Fighter Mission

Washington, October 29, 2009

Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick have notified commanders at Mountain Home Air Force Base and the Idaho Air National Guard they have both qualified as top five locations, in their respective categories, under consideration for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  The two locations are not competing against each other as Mountain Home Air Force Base is under consideration for the operation of up to three squadrons of the F-35, while the Boise Air Terminal is being considered for training and support missions through the Idaho Air National Guard.

“It is great news that the Air Force has chosen both the Boise Air National Guard and Mountain Home Air Force Base as candidate sites for the Joint Strike Fighter," said Simpson. "Idaho has excellent training facilities, top notch military personnel, and outstanding community support. I look forward to working with the Air Force as they continue with their assessments." 
The Air Force considered 205 bases in this initial selection round on various factors including: airspace, flight training ranges, weather, support facilities, runways, taxi ramps, environmental concerns and cost.  Military efficiencies, operational plans and building partnerships were also weighed.

The next step in the base selection process includes a formal environmental analysis, site surveys and public meetings.  Senior Air Force officials will then evaluate that and other data before announcing their preferred locations in late spring of 2010 and a record of decision by early 2011.

Initial deployment of the F-35 begins in 2013, with 250-300 aircraft projected for delivery by 2017.  Sites not selected in the initial deployment will continue to be evaluated as potential homes for the 1,763 total aircraft slated for purchase by 2035.