WASHINGTON— 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.
“Today’s Record of Decision makes clear and cements Arkansas’ important role in training, equipping, and supplying our friends across the globe. This also means bringing jobs and economic prosperity to the state. I look forward to welcoming the new U.S. Air Force personnel who will be moving to our state and am excited for all our international partners to discover the meaning of Arkansas hospitality. Sanders said.
“This is a gamechanger for Fort Smith and our state that will enhance economic development and opportunity in the region and strengthen Arkansas’s role in defending our national security,” Boozman said. “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.”
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.
State leaders have delivered critical funding in support of an expanded runway and community leaders have demonstrated their commitment with investments in this project, warm welcomes to foreign dignitaries and a widespread embrace of the project at public comment events.