301st Fighter Wing at NAS JRB Fort Worth Selected as U.S. Air Force Reserve F-35A Operational Beddown Location
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett issued her record of decision naming the 301st Fighter Wing, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth (NAS JRB Fort Worth), Texas, as the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) F-35A Lighting II operational beddown location.
The wing is expected to receive its first F-35A aircraft in summer 2024, replacing their current complement of F-16C Fighting Falcons.
“Today’s ROD highlights the Department of the Air Force’s commitment to enhancing the strategic depth of the Air Force Reserve. As part of the Air Force’s long-term air superiority edge, the 301st Fighter Wing at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, will serve as the first Air Force Reserve Command F-35 unit-equipped wing,” said Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Chief of the Air Force Reserve and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command. “A level of ownership and pride comes along with this announcement. Our skilled and trained pilots and maintainers of the 301st are just one example of why America has an advantage in this era of great power competition.”
Scobee said the bed down location at the 301st Fighter Wing is optimal, as leadership can look right across the runway from where the F-35s are being assembled at the Fort Worth Lockheed Martin Plant, which is still referred to as Air Force Plant 4.This highlights the full integration of the total force and defense industry as the next generation of air dominance continues to develop and grow.
Other bases evaluated for the basing were Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri.
“This is an exciting time in the history of the 301st Fighter Wing and we are honored to be selected as the first Air Force Reserve wing to host the F-35. We have a lot of work to do over the next few years to prepare for the arrival of this incredible weapon system, but our Airmen are up to the challenge,” said Colonel Allen Duckworth, 301st Fighter Wing commander. “We sincerely appreciate the local community members’ support through this process and we know this new mission will provide an even greater opportunity to partner with them.”
The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter aircraft. It will replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets and A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft and bring with it an enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the U.S. and allied nations.
The 301st FW is composed of mainly Reserve Citizen Airmen, with the unique mission to train and deploy combat-ready Airmen. The wing is the only AFRC fighter unit in the state of Texas.