Alamogordo – Members of the New Mexico congressional delegation confirmed that the Holloman Air Force Base is being looked at as a possible home for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Air Force has informed the delegation that it will conduct environmental impact analyses on three bases, one of which will be selected to house a F-35 training mission. In addition to Holloman, the Air Force is looking at Luke (Arizona) and Eglin (Florida) Air Force bases.
The Pentagon is expected to purchase roughly 1,700 F-35s between now and 2020; about 250 will be ready by 2015.
"The Air Force obviously considers Holloman a tremendous asset, so it's no surprise that it is considering Holloman for this important mission. Our delegation will work hard with the Air Force and the State of New Mexico to give Holloman all the support it needs," U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman said.
"There is no question that Holloman is one of the most valuable bases in the Air Force, making it attractive as the home for several missions," U.S. Senator Tom Udall said. "Our delegation will remain engaged throughout this process to ensure that those involved - including the local communities, the State of New Mexico and the Air Force - weigh in during the decision making process."
"In my opinion, there isn't a mission that the fine men and women of Holloman couldn't fulfill," said Congressman Harry Teague. "I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of Holloman and Otero County to provide them with the support they need from Congress."
Currently, Holloman is home to F-22 Raptors. Earlier this year, Holloman was also selected to house two types of unmanned aerial vehicles (MQ-1 and MQ-9) used in military reconnaissance. The base will receive 10 MQ-1s this year, and 12 next in 2010. It also is scheduled to receive five MQ-9s this year and 11 in 2010.