Air Force leaders selected Ebbing Air National Guard Base (ANGB) in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as the preferred location to establish an F-35A Lightning II training center with capacity for up to 36 fighter aircraft for foreign military sales participants. The mission award involves relocating the 425th Fighter Squadron, a Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16 training unit, from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to Ebbing.
Matrix and our partners provided the necessary consulting to the City of Fort Smith and advocacy to the United States Air Force to ensure the necessary attention and leadership is being paid to this important endeavor. Specifically, our team conducted an economic impact analysis of the proposed F-35A beddown, as well as a state-level military friendly guide detailing the broader economic impacts of the defense industry in Arkansas, and a state-level military friendly gap analysis. We further consulted with senior Air Force leaders, resulting in the creation of a general officer steering committee and exploration of ways to advance funding of the required construction at Ebbing ANGB.