Two S.C. air bases are still in the running to house the Air Force's next-generation combat jet, according to U. S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C..
Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter and McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Eastover are among 11 bases that could get the first group of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, Graham said.
The Air Force is in the early stages of shifting to the F-35, an all-purpose combat workhorse that will form the backbone of U.S. air power over the next several decades. The F-35s will replace F-16s, which are based at Shaw and McEntire, as well as several other aircraft.
Environmental impact studies and site assessments must be done before final basing decisions are made, which may take several years.