Conexión Del Río/Staff Report

WASHINGTON, DC – Joined by his fellow San Antonio Congressmen, U.S. Representative Will Hurd released a letter of support urging the United States Air Force to select Joint-Base San Antonio for a new F-16 Formal Training Unit (FTU).

Hurd led the initiative in response to the Air Force’s recent announcement that it will be considering bases nationwide that meet specific requirements.

“With the 149th Fighter Wing at Kelly Field, outstanding year round flying conditions, extensive hanger and servicing capacity, and strong community support from Military City USA, Joint Base San Antonio is the textbook location to assume additional FTU,” explained U.S. Representative Will Hurd who wrote the letter of support and rallied the San Antonio Congressional delegation. “A new F-16 FTU will combat the well-documented fighter pilot shortage and would be a major win for the local military community and private sector aviation companies that employ thousands of San Antonians. I’m proud to champion the initiative.”

“We cannot say enough great things about the support we receive from our Military City USA neighbors,” said Col. Timothy J. Madden, the 149th Wing Commander. “Our civic leaders and community partners have been essential in keeping our operations unimpeded and flourishing. Their support has positively influenced our ability to graduate some of the finest F-16 fighter pilots in the Air Force.”

Hurd’s letter of support was also signed by San Antonio-area U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D) and Lamar Smith (R). The Air Force will be analyzing potential FTU locations and will make selections later this year.