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Eglin Welcomes F35

by The Hometown Tourist on July 27th, 2011

For those of you that may not be military savvy, Eglin Air Force Base is one of the largest Air Force’s bases in the world covering 724 square miles of reservation and 97,963 square miles of water ranges in the Gulf of Mexico.   Last year, Eglin AFB celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary.   It is a vital part of our local economy, employing approximately 15,000 military and civilian employees.   Fifteen thousand people who eat in restaurants, play at the beach, shop, and spend money in our towns.   And those 15,000 people who invite friends and family to visit and they eat in our restaurants, shop in our shops, and play in our beaches, and spend money in our towns.   And not just permanent residents, military personnel on business trips who participate in all these same events.   And without Eglin AFB, you would not be hearing from your Hometown Tourist.   I, too, relocated to the beach by way of my Air Force Dad, who was assigned to Eglin in the ’90’s.   Some call me an military brat, but my Dad just calls me a brat!

Last week was a historical week for Eglin.   The First F-35 landed on Eglin AFB on July 23, 2011.   This is a   first production model of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter which arrived directly from Lockheed Martin’s production plant in Fort Worth, Texas.   “This is an extremely exciting day for us. We’ve been waiting two years for this day,” Col. Andrew Toth, commander of the 33rd, said as he waited for the jet to arrive. “Having it here is just outstanding. There are a lot of smiles out here today.”

The Joint Strike Fighter is the country’s first fifth-generation, multi-role fighter. It is equipped with the latest technology and will have capabilities that exceed current aircraft at Eglin.

Here’s a fun day trip for those of you visiting the area in your Fort Walton Beach Vacation Rental or Destin Vacation Rental:   The Air Force Armament Museum. I used to be bored by this tour when my now-retired Air Force father insisted we take all of our visiting friends and relatives.   But as an adult, it seems much more interesting.   This museum is the only facility in the world dedicated to the display of Air Force armament. For further information, call (850) 651-5253. and your Hometown Tourist welcome the F35.

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