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Joint Strike Fighter Caucus Announces Strong Bipartisan Support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

May 4, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, the co-chairs of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Caucus announced strong, bipartisan support for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The co-chairs led an appropriations and authorization request urging continued support for the F-35 program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The letter emphasized the critical need to maintain course towards full rate production and an increased investment to address sustainment in order to improve readiness and repair capacity as the program continues to grow. The funding request was supported by 132 bipartisan Members of Congress surpassing last year’s record support for the program.

 “The F-35 is our nation’s only 5th generation stealth fighter that is vital for the United States' national security and strengthens our global deterrence against adversaries like Russia and China. It is not only the most sophisticated stealth fighter in the world, but the F-35 is also much cheaper than the less advanced 4th generation fighters. The program serves as an incredible example of American manufacturing ingenuity supporting 1,800 suppliers across 48 states and Puerto Rico, including 16,500 jobs in Connecticut alone. During the pandemic, the F-35 program has continued to support our local manufacturers, keeping them afloat as commercial air travel has decreased. I am proud of the strong bipartisan support the F-35 has received,” said co-chair Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01).

“The GKN Aerospace factory in Cromwell, Connecticut boasts a workforce of more than 280 employees developing advanced aerospace technology supporting the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This program is vital to our presence in Connecticut and we fully support our lawmaker’s efforts to keep the program on-track while sustaining a major economic contributor to our state and community,” said Sergio Moren, Site Director, GKN Aerospace, Cromwell.

“Machinists Union members take great pride in building the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for three U.S. military services,” said Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The F-35 program creates a powerful economic impact for our nation and it produces a game-changing aircraft that keeps our fighter pilots safe. Now is the time to invest in the best air-to-air fighter by ramping up the production line to reduce unit costs and continue to handle the world’s current and emerging threats.”

 “As a co-chair of the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, I am proud to join a bipartisan group of my colleagues to urge the House Armed Services and Appropriations Committees to continue to support the vital F-35 program,” said Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33). “This will ensure that our nation's military has the advanced tools it needs to defend our country and protect those that serve us.”

 “The F-35 is a key military capability to deter conflict with China and Russia, and our commitment to this program maintains critical support for our allies who have also invested in the aircraft. As Co-Chair of the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, I join both Republicans and Democrats in strongly urging my colleagues on the House Armed Services and Appropriations Committees to continue to support this vital program,” said Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10).

 “Simply put, the F-35 gives America a competitive edge,” said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT). “It’s the most advanced, capable fighter jet in the world. I hope that my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, both Democrat and Republican, recognize the program’s value and continue to support this investment in America’s national security.”