CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misidentified the EA-18G Growler in the caption of the photo as a F/A-18F Super Hornet due to incorrect caption information in the provided image. USNI News regrets the error.
The Navy decided it will base 100 Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. by 2028 following the conclusion of an extensive environmental analysis, the service announced on Thursday.
Seven F-35C squadrons of 10 aircraft and a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) of 30 aircraft will begin to be based at Lemoore starting in 2016, according to the statement.
Lemoore and Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif. were both under consideration for the location of the squadrons but Lenmoore — already home to 70 older Boeing F/A-18 Hornets which the F-35s will replace — was the ultimate choice.
Lemoore had fewer environmental effects and was a more cost effective option, according to the Navy’s environmental assessment.
The Navy removed a 30 plane Hornet FRS in 2013.
“When the FRS for the F-35C is operational (in about 2018), the number of aircraft based at NAS Lemoore will be similar to 2013 levels,” read the statement.
Currently NAS Lemoore employs about 7,900 and the inclusion of the 100 JSFs will increase uniform personnel at the base by about 500 to 600, according to a May report in The Fresno Bee.