Photo: George Frey / Getty
LANSING, June 4, 2021 ~ The United States Air Force has not selected Michigan’s Selfridge Air National Guard Base as the host for a new F-35 Lightning II training center. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow have voiced their distaste with the decision, and are asking for answers from Air Force officials.
“Bottom line — this decision simply does not add up. I will be demanding answers to a number of questions as to how this decision was made by the Acting Air Force Secretary.” said Stabenow in a statement.
Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, Arkansas was chosen by the Air Force as the preferred location for the training center. Ebbing will also be made the new home location for the 425th Fighter Squadron, an F-16 Fighting Falcon training unit for the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
June 4, 2021 ~ Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel talks with Chris Renwick about the U.S. Air Force selecting a site in Arkansas over Selfridge Air National Guard Base for its planned international F-35 training center.
According to an announcement from the U.S. Air Force, Selfridge will be an alternate location in case environmental analysis concludes Ebbing is not a suitable candidate, though it would be “rare.”
“I have repeatedly pressed for a decision based on fairness and merits, and I’m demanding answers and full transparency from the Air Force and Biden Administration about why Selfridge Air National Guard Base was not chosen,” said Gary Peters in a statement. “There is no question that Selfridge stood out as the clear choice to host a new training mission because of its facilities, capabilities and assets for our national security, and I question the conclusion that the Air Force reached.“
An official decision is expected to be released in early 2023.