Air Force calls for SC comment on F-35 bases

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Air Force is seeking public comment about the service's plan to base its newest F-35 jet fighter at two bases in South Carolina.

The Air Force said Wednesday it plans meetings in February in Sumter, Eastover and Kingstree to answer questions the public may have about the aircraft and its impact on the environment.

Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter and McEntire Joint National Guard Base outside Columbia are among 11 bases across the country that could get the jets.

The F-35 is an all-purpose, combat plane that will form the backbone of U.S. air power over the next several decades. The jets will replace F-16s, which are based at Shaw and McEntire.

Environmental impact studies and site assessments must occur before final basing decisions are made.

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