Dr. Boozman's Check-up
What They’re Saying: U.S. Air Force Selection of Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith as the home of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Mission Applauded by Boozman and Arkansas Delegation
Mar 17 2023
As someone who grew up in Fort Smith, I know how much of a gamechanger this is for the community and our state as it will enhance economic development and opportunity in the region and strengthen Arkansas’s role in defending our national security. The Arkansas Congressional Delegation has worked tirelessly along with state and community leaders to demonstrate to the Air Force what we all knew – Fort Smith is the best location for this mission.
Here is some coverage of the excitement surrounding the selection in the River Valley and beyond:
KFSM: Officials say the military pilot training could possibly have an economic impact on the region as high as $1 billion a year.
SWARK Today: Since 2021, when the U.S. Air Force announced Ebbing Air National Guard Base as its preferred location for these missions, members of the delegation have worked to strengthen relationships with Singapore leaders and allies who have an interest in enhancing their air power with the F-35 in addition to recently securing $28 million to support the F-35 FMS program.
KATV: Ebbing ANGB will become the new location for the 425th Fighter Squadron, a Republic of Singapore F-16 Fighting Falcon training unit, currently based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
KAIT: State leaders have delivered critical funding in support of an expanded runway and community leaders have demonstrated their commitment to investments in this project, warm welcomes to foreign dignitaries, and a widespread embrace of the project at public comment events.
Stars and Stripes: Ebbing ANGB was selected to host this mission based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost.
Dem Gaz: “We're very excited for all that this means for Fort Smith and the region. We are ready and willing to welcome these military members and their families to our community and show them the true meaning of Fort Smith hospitality. This is a big achievement for the area and one that will pay dividends for decades to come."
Talk Business: This new training center will bring about 900 military members and their families to the Fort Smith region, the chamber noted. The U.S. Air Force anticipates moving approximately 230 personnel to the base, and the Republic of Singapore will have 300 military personnel with 300 dependent families in the region.
Arkansas Business: Boozman called the announcement a "gamechanger" for Fort Smith. "The Arkansas Congressional Delegation has worked tirelessly along with state and community leaders to demonstrate to the Air Force what we all knew — Fort Smith is the best location for this mission," he said.
Deltaplex News: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Congressman Steve Womack applauded the U.S. Air Force’s selection of Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith as the home of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mission that will bring F-35 fighter planes and a Republic of Singapore F-16 squadron to the installation.
Times Record - It became official on Wednesday. Ebbing Air National Guard Base will be the location for the U.S. Air Force foreign jet fighter training program.
With an economic impact to the Arkansas River Valley anticipated to be about $1 billion a year, foreign pilots are expected to start training sometime between September 2024 and September 2025, the Air Force's fiscal year.