Air Force today announced it will not locate its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet in Jacksonville with the Florida National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing, opting for Alabama and Wisconsin.
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The F-35 is the most expensive fighter jet–and weapon system–ever built. The program, now seven years behind schedule, has been mired in cost overruns, delays and performance failures.
The 7th annual exercise, dubbed “Operation Integration,” involved statewide deployment of urban search and rescue teams with the Guard’s 83rd Troop Command.
In an executive order, Scott directed Adjutant Gen. Michael Calhoun to temporarily move National Guard members from six “storefront” recruitment centers to armories.
The Army National Guard’s 10-year lease agreement with Flagler, to be revealed to the County Commission Wednesday, fills a 19,000-square-foot building at the airport, for $15,185 a month, after the county saw four tenants in eight years fail to make good on their leases there.
Concerns expressed by the Florida National Guard stalled an NRA-backed Senate proposal that would allow people without concealed-weapons licenses to carry concealed firearms when forced outside in times of emergency.
The hefty proposals include spending $14.5 million a year for an expansion of free tuition for members of the National Guard, would create a non-profit to market Florida to former members of the U.S. military. Also, they would upgrade state armories, ease professional licensing for veterans and offer a waiver for all honorably discharged veterans from having to pay out-of-state tuition charges at state colleges and universities.
The furloughs of 993 uniformed guardsmen, which will effectively cut their pay 20 percent, will carry through the wildfire season and into the heart of hurricane season and could affect the Guard’s ability to respond to disasters.
The Division of Forestry now has more firefighting personnel in Flagler County than all the county’s and cities’ squads combined as DOF fights a make-or-break tactical battle against the Espanola fire.
The calm on Flagler’s smaller fires was deceptive as Espanola broke out on three sides, and fires by the dozens are breaking out across the state, further thinning resources. Drought conditions are worsening.