The Air Force has announced that it will host a series of public meetings starting Jan. 11 to discuss the potential beddown of combat-ready F-35 strike fighter units at six candidate bases in the continental US. These meetings, which allow citizens to express their thoughts and concerns, are part of the environmental impact analyses required by US law before the Air Force may render any final basing decisions. Back in October, the Air Force released the short list of beddown locations for F-35A combat-ready wings and training units at Air Force bases and Air National Guard installations. (The public scoping meetings for the five prospective training sites have not been announced.) The service expects to complete the environmental process in about a year and announce its final basing decisions in early 2011. (See notice of intent with full list of meetings.) (Langley release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.