2012-11-21 Not surprisingly, the local media in Arizona covered the event while the national media was largely absent.
Sen. John McCain, Gov. Jan Brewer and other officials were on hand for the special ceremony at the base. After three speeches, two of the jets landed at the base. They were flown by the first members of the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121.
“This aircraft will outperform any other aircraft in the world for many many years ahead,” McCain said.
The F-35B would replace Cold War-era aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier. The first F-35B arrived Friday, and 15 more are coming during the next year. The Defense Department has pumped $500 million into upgrading facilities, hangars and runways at the Yuma base.
“It’s good for our economy,” Brewer said. “It’s good for our pride and it’s certainly good for our freedom. So this is a great day for everyone.”