SC still expected to receive 5 F-35 squadrons

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - A Navy report says the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is still expected to receive five squadrons of new F-35 jet fighters.

The Beaufort Gazette reported a final environmental impact statement this week recommends South Carolina receive both Joint Strike Fighter training squadrons as well as three active duty squadrons.

The recommendation is similar to a draft report earlier this year.

The Defense Department is to decide by December how to divide 13 F-35 squadrons between Beaufort and the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, N.C. North Carolina's Gov. Beverly Perdue and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan have lobbied to have all 11 active-duty squadrons assigned to Cherry Point.

Beaufort officials say they are pleased with the final report, but are waiting to see the December decision.

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