Congressman Vargas Fights for NAF El Centro Joint Strike Fighter Homebasing

Washington, DC - Today, before the House Committee on Rules, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) is introducing an amendment to H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).   The amendment would require the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comparative financial analysis, including expected cost savings, of West Coast homebasing options for the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35).

Currently, Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro and Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore are being considered.

“At a time when difficult budget decisions are being made, it is incumbent upon Congress to do its due diligence and ensure that a fiscally responsible homebase is chosen for the Joint Strike Fighter,” said Congressman Vargas.  “Conducting a comprehensive financial analysis on NAF El Centro and NAS Lemoore is imperative to truly understanding the long-term fiscal advantages between the two proposed options.”

Additionally, the amendment introduced by Congressman Vargas would prohibit the implementation of a homebasing final decision until the required financial analysis has been completed and submitted to the congressional defense committees.

“The final decision for homebasing the F-35 is important not only to our national security, but also to our local economies and surrounding communities,” said Vargas.  “As such, Congress has the responsibility to spend tax-payer dollars wisely and look at the long-term cost saving opportunities when making homebasing decisions.”

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