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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Finds New Home in Montgomery, AL

Nearly two years of hard work has paid off for my home state of Alabama. It was announced this morning that Donnelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama will be the new home of the US Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Alabama already has deep ties to the military, with Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal, Fort McClellan, and Maxwell Air Force Base anchoring a network of smaller installations scattered across the state.

“This announcement by the Air Force is excellent news for our state and a true testament to Alabama’s work in the defense sector,” said Alabama’s longstanding Republican Senator Richard Shelby. “The strong support of the community, along with the proximity of Dannelly Field to several other major military bases, saving both time and money, led Air Force Secretary Wilson to choose Montgomery for the new F-35A fighter jet program. I am extremely proud of the operational strength of the 187th Fighter Wing, and I look forward to seeing the success of this new undertaking.”

Governor Kay Ivey echoed Shelby’s sentiments, saying during a press conference regarding the announcement, “Lots of people were involved in this effort and are to be commended for landing the F-35 in Alabama. I appreciate the work of our entire congressional delegation, especially Senator Shelby, Senator Strange, and Representative Roby. I am also thankful for the hard work and dedication of our state and local partners including General Gordon, Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and the Chamber of Commerce.”

Senator-elect Doug Jones, winner of the recent hotly-contested campaign against Roy Moore, added, “This is a big economic win for the people of Montgomery and surrounding communities, continues Alabama’s famed aviation and aerospace history, and shows what can be accomplished when officials work together for what is best for the people of Alabama.”

The jets, some of the most advanced on the planet, should begin arriving in Montgomery in 2023 as the aging F-16 fleet enters retirement. As a photographer, I will be making the three hour trip south to the state capital often to catch these badass jets in action!

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