Skip to comments.Air Force official: Eielson a top pick to house F-35s
Posted on 07/29/2013 8:03:03 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
FAIRBANKS - The commander of the Pacific U.S. Air Force told a group of defense journalists this morning that Eielson Air Force Base is one of the top contenders to be the second base to house the militarys newest fighter plane, according to the publication Inside Defense.
The final decision for the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter wont Be made until 2014, but Gen. Herbert Carlisle said that among nine Pacific region bases, Eielson was likely to be among the top four picks.
"We haven't downselected, but I would say that Eielson, Misawa, Kadena (two bases in Japan) and maybe Osan (in South Korea) would be the four," he said, speaking at a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Defense Writers Group, a group of D.C.-based-journalists who cover the Defense Department. "That would be my guess, and then we would downselect from those four to a preferred alternative."
Inside Defense writer Gabe Starosta reported Carlisle said Joint Bases Elmendorf-Richardson and Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii wont likely host the F-35 because they already have F-22 squadrons, while Yakota Air Base in Japan is already home to C-130s and Andersen Air Base in Guam is unlikely because of congestion.
That leaves four locations in Northeast Asia Osan and Kunsan Air Bases in South Korea, as well as Misawa and Kadena Air Bases in Japan along with Eielson AFB. But air-to-ground range space is limited in both Korea and Japan, Carlisle said, highlighting restrictions at Misawa and Kadena ABs.
In contrast, expansive training space is Alaska's biggest asset. Eielson AFB also would require minimal military construction and offers easy access from Japan and South Korea.
Also at the meeting, Carlisle said the Air Force plans to begin using the F-35 by 2016, Inside Defense reported. An F-35 base in the Pacific is scheduled to be the second placement of F-35s, after a base in the contiguous United States, which Inside Defense reported the Air Force is close to confirming will be Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
A transcript or audio recording of this mornings breakfast was not immediately available from the Defense Writers Group.
Capt. Robert Howard, a spokesman for the Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Hawaii said Monday evening he was not familiar with any official decisions about the Pacific F-35 basing, but was also pursuing a copy of Carlisles remarks.
I dont know if it was a decision or his recommendation, he said. As far as Ive heard theres been no final determination.
I never understand why we just didnt build a proven concept like F-22 instead of F-35? i hear F-35 has lots of problems.
The 22 was built to replace the f-15. The 35 was built to replace the f-16 and others.
No more f-22’s will be built. So we will have to rely on the f-35 and many stealthy drones.
spent four years living on Eielson, lived in between an A-10 pilot and an OSI agent. Fun place, fun times.
I also spent four years of my life there, back in the RC135 days.
“We haven’t downselected...”
What kind of word is that?