As a retired pilot who spent more than 30 years and accumulated approximately 20,000 hours of flying time — converting jet fuel into noise — the passionate discussion about basing the F-35 fighter aircraft at Gowen Field has been interesting and fascinating to me.
The F-35 is an amazing feat of technology. I am confident that nobody would fly the F-35 better than the pilots in the Idaho Air National Guard. Nobody would obtain higher operational readiness statistics than the Idaho ANG. They are an amazing group of people.
But, I think the question at hand is much bigger than how much noise it makes. The question is: Is this the best airplane for the job? Any job? The F-35 can do amazing things. But are the things it can do necessary and of vital importance to our overall military mission in today’s and tomorrow’s world? I think not.
What our military, specifically our ground troops, need and deserve is a modernized design of the A-10.
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The F-35 is a science project run amok. Keep the A-10 and let that design evolve. Our ground troops will thank us.
John Post, Boise