Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth’s Air Force Reserve 301st Fighter Wing has been selected to receive 26 new Lockheed Martin F-35 jets to replace its aging F-16s following a long, competitive basing decision by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, said in a news release.
“For years, I have urged the Air Force to recapitalize its fighter fleet with more F-35s, built in the heart of Fort Worth by 50,000 patriotic North Texans. I visited our city’s base several months ago, seeing firsthand how the unit was prepared to utilize these cutting-edge aircraft,” Granger said in a statement.
The aircraft are scheduled to arrive on the base in 2024.
In December, the U.S. Air Force announced that the base also had been selected as a main operating base for eight C-130J aircraft at the 136th Airlift Wing. Those aircraft was scheduled to arrive by late 2022 or early 2023.
“The story of America’s defense is told through the story of Fort Worth, where generations of North Texans have worked on production lines to make the world’s most innovative aircraft, like the F-16 and V-22 Osprey. The same Fort Worth plant – located adjacent to the NAS JRB Fort Worth’s runway – that produced B-24 bombers for America’s fight for freedom in World War II today produces the world’s most advanced and lethal fighter jet: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” Granger’s statement said.
“My support for the NAS JRB Fort Worth goes back to my days as the mayor of Fort Worth, when I led the crusade to preserve the installation by establishing America’s first-ever Joint Reserve Base,” Granger said.
“ For many years, I have also championed increasing production of F-35s – the pride of Fort Worth’s defense industry – and successfully secured funding this fiscal year for nearly 100 F-35s,.” she said.
Granger said the Air Force’s decision underlines Fort Worth’s longstanding role at the forefront of American airpower, and the importance of the NAS JRB Fort Worth to national security.