Air Guard Still Aiming For F-35

Three months after losing out on landing an F-35 fighter squadron at Gowen Field, the Idaho Air National Guard is still in the running for what amounts to an “honorable mention.”

The National Guard Bureau–the big guns in Washington–chose Alabama and Wisconsin as the two locations to base the F-35. However, in the event either of those locations are found to be unsuitable, they want to have alternatives chosen from the three bases previously not chosen, including Gowen.

A “Public Meeting” is set from 5 to 8 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the Wyndham Garden Hotel Convention Center, 3300 S. Vista Ave. People who attend can talk to Guard officials, learn more about the proposal to base F-35s here and leave written comments. Look for members of the Citizens For a Livable Boise to be there in force.

Other written comments will be considered if they’re delivered by April 6.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Do the math
    Feb 24, 2018, 7:49 pm

    Yep, the F-35 is going to be built in large numbers therefore it will replace all F-16s, A-10s, and most F-15s. This means nearly everywhere with one of these three aircraft now will eventually have F-35s.

    A few bases will lose the flying mission completely. A few will get a different category of aircraft such drone or tanker or transport.

    I suspect Mountain Home AFB will be closed in the next few years due to redundancy and lack of political clout.

  2. You mean the F-35 will be the Trolley – chapter 2?

    It will never die, and never go away, and will always be something our mayor continues to waste our money on?

  3. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a significantly cheaper aircraft to maintain, costing about $17,564 per flight hour. In contrast, the F-35A nearly doubles that with a hefty $35,200 per flight hour. Accounting for this difference are facts like the A-10’s 1:5 fuel consumption ratio. To put that into monetary context, the DoE’s Energy Information Administration estimates that current aviation jet fuel prices average at approximately $2.87 per gallon. The A-10 carries approximately (11,000 pounds) of internal fuel compared to the F-35A’s (18,250 pounds). Using a conversion calculator we can convert fluid weight into gallons. That comes out to approximately 1,647 gallons for the A-10, and 2,733 gallons for the F-35A. By multiplying the gallons by the average price, the fuel cost for a mission requiring a full tank would be $4,726.89 for the A-10 while the F-35A would be an astounding $7,843.71. These costs render it financially impractical for the F-35A to perform close air support operations of the A-10 in a tight fiscal environment.

    Not only is the F-35A more costly to operate, but also it buys less close air support capability. The A-10 was designed from the start to be a close air support platform as a replacement for the Vietnam era A-1 Skyraiders. Close air support heavily depends on the aircraft’s loiter time. Loiter time is defined as the ability to cruise at slow speeds over a small area. Loiter range is, in part the function of range – the greater the range, the longer it can spend over an area of interest, where ground support may be needed. Compared to the F-35A, which has a range of about 1,200 nautical miles, the A-10 out flies its potential successor by about twice the distance, reaching a distance of 2,240nm. That additional range allows the A-10 to loiter above areas of battlefield activity further from its takeoff origin without the need to refuel.

    So tell us please Mr. Mayor and Brigadier General Nolan, why do we need a noisy and costly fighter jet?

  4. Do the math
    Feb 26, 2018, 1:55 pm

    David, attempting to apply logic and commonsense to military money wasting is a sure way to lose your mind.

    The answer to your question is the F-35 is built by companies which have controlling ownership in our congress.

    A weapon being useful on the battlefield or economically efficient has never been a factor in military spending. In fact if the weapon is completely screwed up it leads to lucrative future contracts to modify it. Also the generals get a customary retirement job with the defense contractor they buy the most from.

  5. The F35 is the Dodo Bird of planes. It will be extinct soon, never to rise again.

    It costs too much, is of inferior design, doesn’t work as advertised, and is too loud to fly outside of a war zone. America is an Empire in collapse. We will be lucky to have any military at all in a few years.

    If we keep upsetting the Chinese, they will simply cut off our supply of rare earth metals and America will lose its ability to create fancy weapons.

  6. From David’s post: “constrained budgetary environment.” I have seen little evidence of any meaningful constraint.

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