NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas --
NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas - Air Force officials announced the 301st Fighter Wing, based out of Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, as the preferred location for the first Air Force Reserve-led F-35 unit.
"We selected the Air Reserve unit in Fort Worth because it is the location that meets all of the necessary training requirements at the lowest cost,” said Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force. “Additionally, the location will provide mission synergy and access to an experienced workforce for recruiting as a result of its proximity to the F-35 manufacturing plant.”
Col. Gregory Jones, 301st Fighter Wing commander, looks forward to the possibility of working with this latest technology in aircraft.
“I am extremely pleased the 301st Fighter Wing has been selected as the preferred location for the first Air Force Reserve-led F-35 Lightning II unit. Our Airmen eagerly anticipate the opportunity to fly and maintain the newest fighter aircraft in the Air Force inventory,” said Jones.
According to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David L. Goldfein, the F-35 is even better than advertised.
“In the hands of our Airmen, the F-35 will be the most lethal, survivable and adaptable aircraft in our inventory for decades to come," said General Goldfein. “No matter how you slice it, the F-35's stealth characteristics, maneuverability, interoperability and its ability to make other aircraft better through sensor fusion make it unmatched by any adversary."
The 301st Fighter Wing currently flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon and has done so since the early 90s. The unit has participated in nine combat operations in the past 15 years and has flown over 3,500 combat missions.
"The 301st Fighter Wing is thrilled to be identified as the preferred location to fly this highly advanced fifth generation, “hometown built” fighter aircraft,” said Jones.
Once a detailed site survey and National Environmental Policy Act-required environmental analysis are completed, the Air Force will consider the potential impacts at each candidate locations before a final basing decision is made. If chosen as the final location, the unit can expect to begin receiving its first F-35As in the mid-2020s.
The 301st Fighter Wing is an Air Force Reserve F-16 unit with approximately 2,000 Citizen Airmen. Its history dates back to the World War II. Today, the men and women of the 301st continue to make history and have deployed in support of various missions around the world including multiple deployments to the Middle East.