May 4, 2010
Primer on F-35 Performance, Cost and Basing
Last fall, the Air Force announced that a F-16 Air National Guard unit in South Burlington, Vermont was on a list of ten candidates to receive the F-35 when it is built and deployed. Not all of the local reaction has been positive. Reports from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida are that F-35s are significantly louder than the F-16s that operate now out of South Burlington. Some local residents have expressed serious concern. One of them, Juliet Buck, started a blog to provide a forum to discuss the issues. She contacted me, asking several questions about the F-35 itself and about the factors that can influence where military assets are based in the U.S. Her questions and my answers are below. I believe they provide a useful summary of the issues surrounding the F-35 and the factors that should influence where military units are based in the United States, and some factors that should not.
To read the Q&A with Winslow Wheeler by Juliet Buck, please click here.
Director, Straus Military Reform Project, CDI at POGO, POGO
At the time of publication Mr. Wheeler's was the director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center For Defense Information at POGO.
The goal of the Straus Military Reform Project is to secure far more effective military forces and much more ethical and professional military and civilian leadership at significantly lower budget levels.
We would like to thank Philip A. Straus Jr. and family for their generous support.