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Montgomery welcomes new F-35A fighter jets

Montgomery will soon officially be the home of the most technologically advanced fighter jets on the planet.

The 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama National Guard is set to begin to house the new F-35A fighter jets, which are more advanced than its F-16 Fighting Falcon predecessor which left the base this year.

“I can’t express the significance enough. It’s been a longstanding, collaborative effort to bring the F-35s here, dating back years,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed to WSFA News.

RELATED: Alabama Air National Guard welcomes F-35 fighter jets

Governor Kay Ivey also celebrated on Friday with the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama National Guard welcomed the arrival of the first F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter jets.

 

The jets’ arrival will also benefit the Montgomery economy according to county commission chairman Doug Singleton. “We’ve got about 2,000 jobs indirectly that are attached to the F-35s, so it is a huge economic impact for us,” Singleton said.

Another interesting aspect is the fact that the new jets will sport red tails in order to honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military pilots.

“To be able to continue that, honor that legacy that they had for many, many years, and just keep it going here in Montgomery, it’s just very, very exciting for us,” Mayor Singleton said.

On Friday afternoon there will be a ceremonial flight at an official ceremony attended by invited community members including government leaders and military personnel.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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