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F35s come to Montgomery

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R), Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Selma), and former Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) joined the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama National Guard to celebrate the arrival of the F-35 Jets to Montgomery.

Sewell and Ivey joined the 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard (ANG) to celebrate the arrival of its first F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter jets.

Rep. Sewell and the entire Alabama Congressional Delegation successfully advocated for the Air Force to bring the F-35A basing location to the 187th Fighter Wing ANG unit and secured $6.8 million in the Fiscal Year 2023 federal budget to construct a new weapons load crew training facility on base. Montgomery will soon officially be the home of the most technologically advanced fighter jets on the planet.

"When an F-35 streaks across the Alabama sky, nothing sounds more patriotic than that unmistakable roar," said Governor Ivey on the social medial platform X.

The 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama National Guard is one of the first National Guard units to get the new F-35A fighter jets. The F-35A replaces the venerable F-16 Fighting Falcons which left the base earlier this year. The Alabama Air Guard pilots and airmen have been training to fly, maintain, and repair the much more advanced aircraft for weeks.

"Great day for Alabama!! So proud to help bring the F-35 fighter jets home to Montgomery's 187th Fighter Wing Unit!" said Rep. Sewell on the social media platform X. "The F-35 is the most advanced combat aircraft in the WORLD. We're so excited that it will bear the historic Red Tail legacy passed down from the Tuskegee Airmen!"

"I can't express the significance enough. It's been a longstanding, collaborative effort to bring the F-35s here, dating back years," said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed to WSFA News.

Sewell also toured the Montgomery Job Corps and hosted a press conference to discuss the importance of Congress continuing to fully fund the Department of Labor Job Corps Program. Rep. Sewell was joined by Montgomery Job Corps Center Director Frank Corio and Job Corps students for a tour of the facility and a briefing from leaders to discuss the future of the Montgomery Job Corps Center ahead of their 2024 graduation.

"Had a great time meeting these students at the Montgomery Job Corps! Hearing their stories inspires me to continue fighting to fully fund this program," Rep. Sewell said on X. "This is about ensuring that our young people have the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their God-given potential!"

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