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  • First F-35A fighter jet arrives in Montgomery

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    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - This morning, a special ceremony was held at Dannelly Field to welcome the arrival of the new F-35A fighter jets.

    Dannelly Field is the home of the 187th Fighter Wing, which is considered one of the United States Air Force’s most reliable combat units. This is why the unit has been tasked with flying the world’s most advanced stealth fighter jet and training the next generation of fighter pilots.
    U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William Blankenship

    “It’s a clear reminder that our state is at the forefront of defending freedom, not just for ourselves, but for future generations,” stated Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.

    The F-35A replaces the F-16s that left Dannelly Field last year. It’s said that the new F-35A costs less and will have a much longer lifespan.

    “So many partners played a role in getting the F-35′s here to Dannelly field. So, this day is not just for the 187th. But it’s an entire team of teams, our state and local partners, our federal delegation, our supportive community, and many others who have been dedicated to ensuring our Alabama airmen remain at the very forefront of military capability. This is an incredible achievement,” said Alabama National Guard Adjutant General Brigadier General David Pritchett.

    The new aircraft is also expected to bring more people to the Montgomery workforce. Officials say that about 2,000 jobs are directly or indirectly tied to the F-35A, with an economic impact totaling 2 billion dollars.

    Over the next five years, the 187th Fighter Winger will receive a total of 20 of the new jets.
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