City Government

No F-35 For Gowen, Possible Italian Cargo Planes

Despite heavy lobbying, advertising banners and expenditure of public funds to get noisy F-35 fighters in Boise the U.S. Air Force has ignored the city of trees in favor of Hill AFB in Utah, Luke in Arizona, and the Burlington Air Guard facility in Vermont as potential F-35 sites.

Instead we may get the C-27 which is an old twin engined cargo plane built by an Italian consortium for NATO. This may be a blessing in disguise since some experts question if the F-35 will EVER be built on a production basis. Here is what the politicos had to say about the National Defense decision.

Washington, DC – Members of Idaho’s Congressional Delegation say today’s announcement by the U.S. Air Force that neither Mountain Home Air Force Base nor Gowen Field made the initial list for a new F-35 mission is “disappointing,” but does not mean Idaho’s bases are out of the running for future F-35 missions. The Air Force says an initial review indicates a preference for locating the new fighter jets at locations other than Idaho. Delegation members, who were briefed by phone on the decision this morning, noted that they did receive assurances that both bases remain candidates for future F-35 missions.

“The Air Force determined that housing three squadrons of F-35s at Mountain Home or Gowen Field would have required additional construction costs. That determination is disappointing because all of the sites chosen will require new construction to accommodate three squadrons,” said the Idaho delegation in a joint statement. “Other benefits should have factored into the decision besides initial cost savings. We will be taking a close look at the data used to reach this decision to ensure it was a transparent and apolitical process.”

The Air Force’s review indicates Hill Air Force Base in Utah and the Burlington Air Guard Station in Vermont are the preferred sites for operations for the F-35. Luke Air Force Base in Arizona was chosen as the preferred site for training missions for the F-35.

Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick also noted that Gowen Field is in the running to receive an expanded mission for operations of the C-27J aircraft. The Boise base is one of two sites under consideration for operations for the Air Force cargo aircraft.

The C-27J is a twin turboprop engine aircraft designed for medium airland transport, according to the Air Force. It can provide access to airstrips otherwise unsuitable for fixed-wing aircraft.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Can we retrofit a C-27 J and use it for wildfire suppression?

  2. Unless you and your buddies downtown can come up with a title, I doubt it is your’s to re-fit!!

  3. serendipity
    Jul 29, 2010, 6:41 pm

    Hey–do these Italian planes have backup lights?

  4. I wonder why we need yet another cold war era airplane? I watched the series Carrier on PBS and I don’t recall any ordinance getting put down the entire deployment.

    The cost of that deployement has to be hundreds of millions. I say more predators and raptors.

  5. They only work with the thrust reversers so they are always backing up!

  6. Italian, because America can’t build one as good anymore. Would love to have it. Not the high-priced noise-maker though.


    Paul: Did some research,and while the C-27 is an update of an (relatively) older G222 but is far from “old”. In fact its a spring chicken when comapared to the C-5 and the C-130, since its really only been produced in the last 10 or so years.

    Zippo: it was an Italian/American cooperative project, originally with Lockheed-martin and then (IIRC) Boing.

    In a nutshell its a smaller, but more up to date version of the C-130 that can land places the C-130 cant. Its also suppsed to be a better fit for AC/Gunship/close air support ops in theater than the AC-130 because of this . Since it can land at even smaller airstrips than the AC-130, it can be staged closer to the action, and therefore have a shorter response time when needed.

    64.01% : Now Im not an expert on fire supression using aviation assets like the C-130, but since it uses the same loading system the C-130 does, and the fire suppression system they use is a pallet-loaded drop in module, it may also be able to fight fires! I dont know though. I seriously doubt we would see many of them doing firefighting in in the first few years of production due to other more specific needs over in the sand box. Thats just my guess.

  8. Dang, now we won’t get to hear the “sound of freedom” on a daily basis. We’ll be be less free without daily F35 flights over our city? Will terrorists bring the fight to our streets now that they know Boise is vulnerable? This is all Obama’s fault. Boise is soon to be a socialistic haven for terrorists.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: