Sep 26 2016

Blunt Leads MO Delegation in Pressing for Whiteman’s Selection as Home to F-35 Fighter Squadron

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) led the Missouri congressional delegation in sending a letter to the United States Air Force reiterating the numerous advantages Whiteman Air Force Base, and the Air Force Reserve Command’s 442nd Fighter Wing, would provide as the site for the first Reserve-led F-35 fighter squadron. In the letter, the members urge the Air Force to expand its evaluation criteria to account for the unique benefits Whiteman offers over the other sites under consideration.

“We agree that Whiteman offers a tremendous lack of encroachment; access to quality, extensive, and unencumbered airspace; first-rate infrastructure; and protected access to ranges,” the members wrote. "Whiteman would also provide a number of other operational benefits and efficiencies above and beyond the strategic basing criteria that we ask you to consider…Missouri is proud to be a partner to the United States Air Force and our state leaders join us in our shared commitment to working with you to make Whiteman the best possible home for the Joint Strike Fighter.”

The members previously sent a letter on June 7th making the case for Whiteman’s selection for the F-35.

In addition to Blunt, the letter was signed by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Representatives William Lacy Clay, Jr., Emanuel Cleaver II, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith, and Ann Wagner. The full text of the letter is available here.