City Government

Nix F-35, Boise Should Try To Land F-16

If ever there was an Air Force mission designed for Boise’s Gowen Field, it is the planned relocation of F-16 fighters from Hill AFB in Utah.
The Air Force has a shortage of fighter pilots, seeks a training facility with long runways and nearby bombing range. The agile and relatively quiet F-16s which look like mosquitoes would sure be a lot better fit than the twin engine and LOUD F-35 or F-15.

Take a look at the official Air Force Press release below for details. Then contact the local politicos and get behind this alternative mission that has fallen in our collective laps.

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs , / Published August 11, 2016
The Air Force released basing criteria Aug. 11 that will be used to select candidate bases to establish additional permanent formal training units using F-16 Fighting Falcons from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The Air Force needs to increase fighter pilot production as part of the service’s efforts to address its fighter pilot shortage. However, establishing permanent FTUs takes time and the need for additional fighter pilot production is urgent.

Therefore, as an interim solution to increase fighter pilot training, the F-16s at Hill AFB will be temporarily moved to augment pilot training at up to two of the existing F-16 training locations: Luke AFB, Arizona; Holloman AFB, New Mexico; Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland’s Kelly Field Annex, Texas; or Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona.

Site surveys will begin at these four locations next week to gather detailed information on operational requirements, infrastructure capacity, environmental considerations and cost.
The basing criteria for the long-term permanent solutions include mission requirements (weather, airspace and training range availability), capacity (sufficient hanger and ramp space, and facility considerations), environmental requirements, and cost factors.

The Air Force will evaluate all installations in the continental United States with an existing fighter mission and a runway that is greater than or equal to 8,000 feet against the approved criteria to identify candidate bases for the F-16s.

After identifying candidate bases for the long-term permanent solution, Air Education and Training Command will conduct site surveys at each location as applicable. Site survey teams will assess each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, infrastructure, environmental considerations, and manpower. They will also develop cost estimates to bed down the F-16s.

Based on the results of these efforts, the Air Force plans to identify candidate installations for the F-16s later this year. The Air Force will use its environmental impact analysis process to analyze reasonable alternatives determined through the use of these criteria.

“The Air Force is committed to a deliberate and open process to address relocating the F-16s,” said Jennifer A. Miller, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations. “As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Christiane Rudd
    Aug 12, 2016, 2:00 pm

    The “relatively quiet” F16? Are you joking? Ask Burlington Vermont residents who have been dealing with the F16s for years now, and all the lawsuits that are involved with noise, plummeting real estate values, schools having to close, etc. This would still be a huge increase in noise from the A10s that we have now, and making the F16 seem like a good bargain compared to the F35 is a false narrative. The reality is that Gowen Field has allowed an entire residential city to grow up around it, and major military operations do not belong there. We actually have a real Air Force base 50 minutes away, in Mountain Home. All the years I lived and worked in Washington DC, I could only dream of having a 50 minute commute. Face it. Boise can continue to be advertised as a great family place to live, clean, quiet, and with good schools. Or we can let Gowen Field decimate south central Boise, and turn it into just another noisy polluted city.

    EDITOR NOTE–We were only trying to compare the relative noise levels. FYI, Burlington will be losing the F-16 in favor of…would you believe…F-35s! We agree that Mt. Home is the proper place for fighters.

  2. No, That is not correct
    Aug 12, 2016, 2:24 pm

    F-16 started life as the little plane that could fly rings around anything else in the sky.

    After many years of suffering loses to Mig-17s with unmaneuverable heavy complicated ‘fighters’ (abused as bombtrucks) over Vietnam, a vocal faction of the air force pilots made demands and were granted their wide eyed wish.

    F-16 could, and still can, do the Tasmanian Devil act on anything in the sky when in close and clean. However, over the years the Air Force has chosen to do stand-off fighting as it is safer and lots more expensive (thus hugely bigger budgets for Lockheed and Boeing). Therefore, they’ve turned this crisp little sports car into something of a U-haul-like jack of all trades. Think Ferrari with several luggage pods and four extra gas cans on the roof. It got heavy, so they’ve also installed a HUGE engine to get all that extra external freight up in the air. There is so much crap stuck on the outside of a new F-16, it’s like meeting your prom date at the 30 year and not recognizing her. The F-16 is the most abused and misused airframe in the air force today.

    So, anyone who thinks a loaded F-16 is quiet or quieter than an F-15 doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    As far as Idaho getting some, that’s probably likely, we tend to get hand-me-down stuff. However, the Mayor should be pushing for a C-130 or C-17 or Drone base if he cares about his city at all.

  3. No, That is not correct
    Aug 12, 2016, 2:30 pm

    F-35 is a technology demonstrator that got rammed into production by politics. They will eventually make it a useful aircraft, but the cost is going to be insane. And it’s the wrong tool for the job most of the time.

  4. Yossarian_22
    Aug 15, 2016, 8:49 am

    The F-16 is still pretty loud. I’ve heard them when they fly around here and they produce plenty of decibels of sound to annoy residents. On the argument about the F-16 vs F-35 as a successful aircraft, the F-16 is a big winner. It’s one of the short list of planes that actually meet a REAL fighter plane’s character. It plain works correctly. The F-35 is gonna be a loser. The F-111 was supposed to be a fighter, and never was. It’s been re-purposed, twice.

    I just wish we could keep the A-10s, if we HAVE to have a ANG mission at Gowen. A MAC airlift mission would be nice too. With all the fires we get in the region, it would be smart to base the ANG C-130 firebomber wings here.

  5. I sold my house a mile to the South of the Boise airport a few months ago and moved out of Idaho to a place where noisy jets go by at 30,000 feet. The threat of living under intrusive and unwelcome military occupation was a big reason. I’ll spend my retirement money in a place that is infinitely more livable than Boise. Dave Bieter, Emporer for Life and media darling, needs to find a shred of courage and stand against this atrocity with the good folks of Boise.

  6. The reality is air wars will be fought by more advanced drones, piloted by our kids who are currently playing simulated battle games in our basements on their computer or for giggles their IBM 386

    Any war aircraft relying upon a pilot in the plane is just a brief stop along the ever advancing automation of warfare.

    We should scrap the F-35 and jump right to fighter drones.

  7. No, that is not correct… a GE F110-100/129 is not a huge engine. They are tinker toys with only 20 to 23k of thrust.

  8. Troll Patrol
    Aug 29, 2016, 10:45 am
  9. Yossarian22 not sure what the comparison with the 111 was for… hell the SR was initially designed to be a fighter…the 130 was designed to be a trash hauler…(cargo plane) its been used as a bomber and is being used as a version of the A10… only much more capable. Since everyone is worried about noise why don’t you all just petition to move the entire airport to Mt Home. There is plenty of open space there where 737’s, A320’s, F16’s A10’s ect wont disturb anyone. It’s only 50 miles to drive to catch your flight… no problem.

  10. Rick. So let’s see. The Boise airport had 1,487,764 passengers in 2015. Let’s trade that for 800 Guard members. You’re a genius! No problem!

    EDITOR NOTE–Gonna shut you down. The topic was F-16s coming here rather than F-15 or F-35.

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