Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell and Alabama 2nd District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby joined local elected officials on Thursday to receive an update on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft mission that will soon come to the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Ala..
Roby announced the plans for the mission in December of 2017 after Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson made the announcement.
At the event, Sewell and Roby were given an overview of the economic impact the aircraft will have on Montgomery and the River Region, and were given the opportunity to experience “flying” the cockpit demonstrator to experience the capabilities of the F-35 firsthand.
“I am thrilled that our district’s 187th Air National Guard Fighter Wing Unit will become the first home in the Southeast to F-35 fighter jets. The F-35 builds on the legacy of military excellence displayed by the 187th Fighter Wing, which is home to the renowned Tuskegee Red Tails,” Sewell said. “Basing the F-35 at Dannelly Field will be a major boost for Alabama’s economy. This means new investments, new jobs, and a better future for our state, the City of Montgomery, and the River Region.”
Roby said she couldn’t be more thrilled for the upcoming mission.
“I speak on behalf of the entire River Region when I say we could not be more thrilled for our local men and women in uniform who will carry out this historic mission. We all have a lot to be thankful for and excited about, “Roby posted on Facebook.
The City of Montgomery and the River Region will receive approximately $3 billion in new capital investment, $70 million in new construction, and will create an estimated 1,000 new jobs because of the decision to base the F-35 at Dannelly Field.
The F-35 already produces $10.7 million annually for the state’s economy, a boost generated by a total of 13 in-state supplier locations which support the F-35 program.