Boise's Gowen Field in Top 5 for F-35 Base

Posted at 9:28 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 23:28:53-05

Boise's Gowen Field is officially near the top of the list to get the F-35 fighter.
It's one of five national guard bases vying to be one of two to host the world's most expensive weapons system.
If Gowen Field gets the f-35, a long-running legacy will continue.

"The F-35 will allow us to continue that fighter mission that we've maintained the last 70 years," explains Maj. Chris Borders.
That fighter mission began with the iconic P-51 Mustang in 1946.
Jets have prowled the skies ever since including the F-4 Phantom 2.
Then a community that got used to the ground shaking when phantoms took off got the quiet A-10.
But if the F-35 comes in, the roar would return.

"Gowen Field is looking at roughly 18 F-35s," says Borders, "That's the same number of A-10's currently at Gowen Field."
Air force officials will visit Gowen in the next few months and an extensive environmental report will be done on each finalist site, including public input.

"It will also include town hall meetings to allow for public discussion," says Borders.
And that would take a lot of time.  So, even if Gowen makes the final cut in 2019, the plane might not arrive until 2023.
But if it does, it will ensure Gowen Field stays relevant and in business well into the future.
Idaho senator Jim Risch commented on the issue today saying the training range, and community support make Gowen a strong choice for the F-35.