Rep. Valadao Applauds Final Navy Decision
– On Wednesday, October 2, 2014, the United States Navy announced their final decision regarding the homebasing of F-35C aircraft intended to replace aging Navy Pacific Fleet FA-18 Hornet aircraft.On Thursday, October 2, 2014, the United States Navy announced their final decision regarding the homebasing of F-35C aircraft intended to replace aging Navy Pacific Fleet FA-18 Hornet aircraft.
According to the Navy’s Record of Decision, “After carefully weighing the strategic, operational, and environmental consequences of the proposed action,” the Department of the Navy “announces its decision to provide facilities and functions to support homebasing of F-35C aircraft at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore.”
Beginning in 2016, a total of 100 F-35C aircraft (7 Navy Pacific Fleet Squadrons and 1 Fleet Replacement Squadron) will be homebased at NAS Lemoore, replacing 70 aging FA-18 Hornet aircraft. The homebasing of the F-35 aircraft will make NAS Lemoore a significant source of the Navy’s strike power in the Pacific and enable our region to play a significant role in our nation’s defense for years to come.
Congressman David G. Valadao stated, “I have been a longtime advocate of homebasing the Pacific Fleet’s F-35C Joint Strike Fighters at NAS Lemoore. Not only is NAS Lemoore most suitable to cost effectively meet the mission requirements for basing, but this decision will also benefit our local communities.” He continued, “The basing of the F-35C fleet is estimated to require 751 new military and contractor personnel for mission support. With an estimated $36.5 million in annual payroll, this will inject much needed economic stimulus into our suffering region.”
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.