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Moody Air Force Base lands new mission

Moody’s Air Force Base near Valdosta will host two squadrons of the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, a mission that will add about 500 personnel.

The new F-35A Lighting II fighters are projected to begin arriving as soon as fiscal 2027 and will replace Moody’s A-10 Thunderbolt IIs that are due to be retired, the Air Force announced Monday.

“This is a major step forward in our ongoing effort to strengthen and sustain Moody Air Force Base for decades to come,” said U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., who has worked to upgrade facilities at the base. “Moody is a critical national security asset and a vital job creator for South Georgia.”

The 23rd Fighter Group arrived at Moody back in 2007 with its A-10s, followed a couple of years later by the 476th Fighter Group. Six of Moody’s A10s are due to be retired during the next federal fiscal year.

Another 48 A-10s at Moody are scheduled for retirement through fiscal 2028, to be replaced over time by the two F-35A squadrons.

Meanwhile, additional A-10s at Gowen Field National Guard Base in Idaho also are due to be replaced, in this case, by F-16s.

The selection of Moody and Gowen to host the new F-35As won’t be finalized until environmental impact studies have been completed. Both analyses are expected to wrap up in 2025.

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