Even though Mountain Home Air Force Base has presumably lost its opportunity to house the U.S. Air Force's F-35 Operational Basing, the military still needs to complete its formal environmental impact statement on MHAFB, as well as four other sites. The Air Force formally filed a draft EIS today.
A spokeswoman for the Air Force said that Hill Air Force Base in Utah and the Burlington Air Guard Station in Vermont were the military's top choices for housing the F-35 Lighting II squadron. In addition to Mountain Home, bases in Florida and South Carolina had been on the short list of prospective sites.
The F-35A is the military's fifth-generation fighter aircraft designed with stealth maneuverability. According to ProPublica, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has cost the U.S. government $400 billion to date, and is estimated to run more than $1 trillion to develop, buy and support nearly 2,500 aircraft through 2050.