Coffman Works to Build Support for Buckley AFB

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Washington, DC, March 26, 2014 | comments

U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) sent a letter recently to the Secretary of the Air Force requesting that the 2009 criteria used by the Air Force to determine base selection for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) be reconfigured to more accurately reflect the training realities at Buckley AFB and other bases around the country.  The letter, which was also signed by Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Representatives Cory Gardner, Ed Perlmutter, Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn, was written in response to the Air Force’s recent decisions on JSF placement. 

“We are writing to express our hope that the criteria used by the Air Force in determining future base selection will more accurately reflect airspace ownership and the weather associated with training airspace,” wrote Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran, in the letter.

The 2009 criteria used by the Air Force placed an overly high value on distance from each base to its associated training ranges as well as weather over the base.  As a result, Buckley AFB scored lower on the Air Force’s list of potential F-35A bases.  The criteria placed less value on ownership of the training range and the weather over the range, both key factors in determining the quality of the training achieved.  The letter suggests that these more accurate metrics be considered in all future basing decisions.

“It is our belief that if a new criteria which emphasizes training potential, including key factors of airspace ownership and weather associated with the airspace, is adopted, we will realize the most effective and efficient use of this multi-billion dollar weapon system,” added Coffman.  

The letter to the Secretary of the Air Force can be found here.

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