How to Capture JSF

The Air Force on Thursday announced criteria it will use to select which bases get the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The service plans to consider airspace, flight training ranges, weather, support facilities, runways, taxi ramps, environmental concerns, and cost factors for more than 200 sites. Then it will look at combatant commander requirements, the service’s fighter retirement plan, maintenance and logistics support, and integration with the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to further refine its lists, producing two candidate lists—one for operational sites and one for training sites. Then it will commence environmental impact analyses, at which point communities around the candidate bases will be able to provide their inputs. In late spring 2010, USAF expects to release its preferred locations. It wants to complete all environmental requirements and announce its record of decision with final basing in early 2011.