Fort Worth

Fort Worth's Joint Reserve Base Eyes F-35s

New fighter jets could replace aging fleet of F-16's

The aging fleet of F-16s at Fort Worth’s Joint Reserve Base could be replaced by a new squadron of F-35s, a decision which could all but guarantee the future of the military facility for years to come, city leaders said.

Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, commonly known as JRB, is the Pentagon’s “preferred” location for the squadron.

But the decision won’t be made for more than a year following an environmental impact study, said Col. Mitch Hanson, vice commander of the 301st Fighter Wing.

"We're concerned about the viability of our unit and getting the F-35s will help our unit stay around,” he said. “We'll have the fifth-generation -- the biggest, best airplane in the world."

A public hearing will be held April 19 in West Fort Worth.

City Councilman Dennis Shingleton said if the base ultimately gets the F-35s, it’ll all but guarantee the future of the facility.

"I think we're in good position,” Shingleton said. “I just hope we can lay the cards on the table appropriately when the time comes."

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