- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - The commander of the Ninth Air Force says Shaw Air Force Base remains a strong candidate to host the service’s next-generation F-35 fighter.

The Sumter Item reported (https://bit.ly/1s8FAGC ) that Maj. Gen. H.D. Polombo told the Sumter Rotary Club on Monday that budget issues in Washington mean the F-35 might not come to the South Carolina air base until the early to mid-2020s.

The general said automatic budget cuts known as “sequestration” have a stranglehold on the Air Force budget.

Polumbo says that without investing more money to develop new warplanes like the F-35, other nations will catch up with U.S. technology.

The general says budget constraints mean the Air Force may have to mothball its A-10 combat support aircraft so it can train existing pilots to fly F-35s.

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Information from: The Sumter Item, https://www.theitem.com

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