Texas lawmakers seemingly are not at all dismayed that Sheppard Air Force Base was not singled out in the Air Force’s recent basing roadmap for future systems like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Wichita Falls Times Record reports that the Texas Congressional delegation have talked with USAF about adding a JSF maintenance training mission to Sheppard, currently home to maintenance, avionics, propulsion, fuels, and other aircraft technical training. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) told the newspaper: “I have personally talked with General [Michael] Moseley [Chief of Staff] twice in the last year regarding Sheppard as the logical facility for JSF maintenance training. I believe he is favorably disposed because of the many strengths of Sheppard and its experience, as well as the need to keep it strong.” And, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R) explained that the Texas base already includes maintenance training for the F-22 in its stable, “but that doesn’t mean we base F-22s at Sheppard.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act on Oct. 18, proposing an additional half billion dollars for the Space Force's 2022 budget and an extra 16 C-130Js for the Air Force, while leaving the service's requests for F-35s and F-15EXs untouched.