I am very much in favor of Boise’s Gowen Field upgrading from A-10s to F-35s.
My primary reason for holding this view is that the F-35 is the current military aircraft to replace the A-10 as a ground support military aircraft. The only alternative is the F-15, which is not designed for this type of mission. Even though the noise contours for the F-35 and F-15 are virtually identical, the Air National Guard normally trains for ground support missions. Therefore, the Idaho ANG service personnel deserve to train on the best, most advanced aircraft for the primary types of missions we expect them to flying in combat settings.
I think this reason is far more important than any of the expected economic or employment impacts of basing F-35s at Gowen Field. When I moved to Boise in 1985, the training aircraft at Gowen Field was the F4 Phantom, which I recall as easily the loudest military aircraft I’ve ever been exposed to. I worked at Micron’s HQ in East Boise from 2006-09 with F-15 takeoffs over the plant every day without any issues.
George Crawford, Boise