WASHINGTON – Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Republican Leader of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after the Secretary of the Air Force selected the 301st Fighter Wing at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth as the future home of 26 new Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft. The aircraft are slated to arrive on the base in 2024.

“The story of America’s defense is told through the story of Fort Worth, where generations of North Texans have worked on production lines to make the world’s most innovative aircraft, like the F-16 and V-22 Osprey. The same Fort Worth plant—located adjacent to the NAS JRB Fort Worth’s runway—that produced B-24 bombers for America’s fight for freedom in World War II today produces the world’s most advanced and lethal fighter jet: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“I’m proud to share that the NAS JRB Fort Worth’s Air Force Reserve 301st Fighter Wing has been selected to receive F-35 jets to replace their aging F-16s, following a long, competitive basing decision by the U.S. Air Force. For years, I have urged the Air Force to recapitalize its fighter fleet with more F-35s, built in the heart of Fort Worth by 50,000 patriotic North Texans. I visited our city’s base several months ago, seeing firsthand how the unit was prepared to utilize these cutting-edge aircraft.

 “My support for the NAS JRB Fort Worth goes back to my days as the Mayor of Fort Worth, when I led the crusade to preserve the installation by establishing America’s first-ever Joint Reserve Base. For many years, I have also championed increasing production of F-35s—the pride of Fort Worth’s defense industry—and successfully secured funding this fiscal year for nearly 100 F-35s. The Air Force’s selection underlines our city’s longstanding role at the forefront of American airpower, and the importance of the NAS JRB Fort Worth to our national security. I commend the Air Force on its decision and couldn’t be prouder that what’s made in Fort Worth will soon stay in Fort Worth.”