More than 100 community members attended Air Force hearings in Layton and Ogden May 1-2 outlining the Draft F-35A Operational Basing Environmental Impact Statement. A third public hearing took place in Wendover, Nev., on May 3.
The hearings offered local residents the opportunity to learn more about the proposal to name Hill AFB as one of two preferred locations for the initial basing of the F-35 and comment on any concerns or questions related to the EIS findings.
Should the new aircraft be based at Hill, they would be operated by the 419th (Reserve) and 388th (active duty) Fighter Wings.
"Our reservists look forward to applying our high-level of F-16 experience to operating and maintaining the F-35 alongside our active duty counterparts," said Col. Keith Knudson, 419th FW commander.
The Draft EIS evaluates the potential effects of basing the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter at Hill AFB and at five other alternative locations in the U.S.
The local public hearings drew overwhelming support from the community and included remarks from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), as well as numerous Utah state senators, mayors, city councilmen and Hill AFB supporters.
The Air Force is also accepting written comments on the Draft EIS through June 1. Comments may be submitted to HQ ACC/A7PS, 129 Andrews Street, Suite 337, Langley Air Force Base, VA 23665-2769, ATTN: Nick Germanos.