U.S. Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently expressed confidence over the Air Force’s announcement that Arizona will be considered for temporary and potentially permanent locations to house the new F-16 fighter jets.
“The Air Force’s announcement that it plans to limit consideration of temporary locations for the new F-16 Formal Training Units (FTU) to bases that include Tucson Airport and Luke Air Force Base underscores Arizona’s ideal conditions for training the next generation of American fighter pilots," McCain said. "This news means that 48 F-16s from Hill Air Force Base in Utah will be moved temporarily to Tucson Airport, Luke Air Force Base or Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico."
McCain's statement also noted that as many as 72 instructor pilots, 600 maintenance personnel and several dozen F-16 pilot trainees will be based in two of the Arizona locations starting in fiscal year 2017.
“While the permanent location decision is still a few years away, I’m confident that Tucson Airport and Luke Air Force Base are well situated to receive additional squadrons for the interim and permanent locations," he said.
McCain also said that he feels Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson should be considered as a permanent location for several reasons.
"I look forward to Arizona continuing to play an outsized role in preparing our airmen for increasingly complex missions around the world,” he said.
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