Senate endorses F-35 program


A government watchdog group says Idaho's public pension retirement system needs $3.5 billion to fully cover obligations.

The Idaho Senate approved the joint memorial in support of the state’s efforts to bring the F-35 fighter jet program to Mountain Home and Boise. The House approved the memorial Feb. 9.

“This is a unique opportunity to let our wishes be known to the Congress and the secretary of the Air Force,” said Senate President Pro Tem Robert Geddes, R-Soda Springs. He said Idaho makes sense for the F-35 program. “It’s been indicated to me that much of the terrain that we use to train fighter pilots over Idaho, if you take a picture from the air and compare that to a picture from the air taken of Afghanistan, it’s very difficult to tell the difference. Now, I don’t know if I’m proud to look like Afghanistan … but I think that that demonstrates a clear vision of what we have to offer the Air Force.”

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, a former flight instructor in the Navy, agreed with Geddes that Idaho makes sense for the F-35s. “The terrain and weather here offer a unique opportunity,” he said. “It means new buildings, investments, personnel, and aircraft beyond the current mission. This could have a very significant impact on our state, putting people back to work, as well as providing the defense and training of our military.”

Read IdahoReporter.com’s past coverage of the F-35 jets.

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