Kingsley lands jet training commitment

By on Friday, May 26th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News Featured Stories

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Air Force has announced that the next mission at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls will be to train pilots to fly the F-35A Lightning II jet. The announcement of the decision came from Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) and Gov. Tina Kotek in separate releases.

“For nearly 70 years Kingsley’s missions have been absolutely essential to our country’s air superiority and the Klamath Falls community,” Bentz wrote. “Since day one in Congress, I have made Kingsley Field’s future missions a top priority.”

“The Secretary’s decision affirms the Oregon Military Department’s unwavering commitment to excellence in training and readiness, while providing for the successful future of the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force,” Kotek stated. “I am grateful to Oregon’s congressional delegation for collaborating in Washington to help today come to fruition.”

The F-35A Lightning II provides next-generation stealth capabilities to the United States. It features cutting edge aerodynamics, advanced integrated avionics, enhanced situational awareness, and increased survivability.

The decision to train pilots at Kingsley will become final when a record of decision is signed by the secretary of the Air Force. That EIS is currently underway. It supersedes an announcement in 2020 that Kingsley would be the home of the F-15EX Eagle II training.

Photo: A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, flies off the wing of a F-15C Eagle assigned to the 173rd Fighter Wing, May 17, 2023, in the skies above Southern Oregon. Photo credit: U.S. Air National Guard Sgt. Penny Snoozy.