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Florida Guard Lobbying For F-35 Squadron

An F-35A prototype at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
An F-35A prototype at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
An F-35A prototype at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Credit Samuel King Jr. via wikimedia commons / US Air Force
An F-35A prototype at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

A Florida Air National Guard unit is in the running for a squadron of F-35 fighter jets.  Mark Oglesby from the Florida Department of Military Affairs says his agency is pushing to bring the planes to Jacksonville.

“Last week we were chosen to be one of the top five units that are in the running to receive this fifth generation airframe," Oglesby told a Florida Senate subcommittee Wednesday. "We hope to gain both state and federal support for this endeavor.  If Florida receives F-35s they will be 100 percent federally funded and the decision will be made by the secretary of the air force.”

The F-35s would replace a fleet of aging F-15s in providing air defense for the country’s southeastern seaboard.  But the long-awaited aircraft have received criticism for repeated budget over-runs—recently from President-elect Donald Trump.

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