180th not a finalist for F-35

Staff Report

The 180th Fighter Wing at Toledo Express Airport will not be home to new fighter aircraft. Wednesday, the Secretary of the Air Force announced Alabama, Idaho, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin will go forward for additional consideration as the next National Guard locations for the F-35.

Colonel Kevin Doyle, 180th Fighter Wing commander, congratulated those units upon their selection and wished them well in the process.

“The Ohio National Guard and 180th Fighter Wing extend our sincere gratitude to our elected officials and our surrounding communities for their continued unwavering support of the 180th Fighter Wing as it pursued this round of F-35 basing selections,” Doyle said. “The support from our congressional leaders and community during this round of selections was outstanding and exceeded expectations.”

The 180th will continue to be a long-term solution for the defense of our nation. The wing proudly protects the citizens of Ohio and the nation, both at home and abroad. The Aerospace Control Alert mission contributes to protecting over 60 percent of the U.S. population 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general, said, “I’m proud of the effort made on behalf of the 180th Fighter Wing over the past year as we prepared for the next round of basing selections for the F-35. The 180th Fighter Wing has a long history of achievement and unshakable community support. We will continue to strive for excellence in all we do in our Federal, State and Community missions. I fully expect the 180th Fighter Wing to be extremely competitive as an F-35 base in the future.”

The age of the 180FW’s F-16, one of the youngest in the force, makes them viable long into the future. The wing will continue the commitment to the surrounding communities, leveraging our strengths and innovative opportunities to ensure we remain postured to support and defend our nation, a press release from the fighter wing said.

The Air Force will continue prioritizing bases to acquire the F-35 mission and Ohio Air National Guard officials are confident the 180FW will be considered for future F-35 basing.

Staff Report