The F-35 supports our troops and NH jobs

Development of the fighter jet supports thousands of additional jobs in the Granite State

Every holiday season, I am warmed by the show of support from across New Hampshire for the men and women of America’s armed forces. As the proud mother of a Marine, I know firsthand the sacrifices made by our troops who spend countless holidays away from their loved ones while serving in places all over the world. Like past generations of veterans, these brave men and women answer the call to duty and ask nothing in return for keeping us safe.

It’s always gratifying to see so many people take time to give back and say thanks to those who have protected this nation. My neighbors across New Hampshire have always taken great pride in finding ways to best serve our community and support our military. This is why I support the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. It supports our military and serves our community.

The F-35 program provides the best, most advanced technology to our troops, and that should always be the leading determining factor in deciding what military programs are funded. What’s more, the F-35 program has a significant economic impact right here in New Hampshire. There are more than 50 suppliers of the program here with a combined impact of more than half-a-billion dollars. The development of this fighter jet supports thousands of additional jobs in the Granite State alone.

Supporting the F-35 program helps protect our service members and creates local New Hampshire jobs.

Eliminating the F-35 program would hurt America’s military superiority and have a negative financial impact on thousands of New Hampshire working families, all while the world becomes less safe.

The nature of war is changing. The manner in which war must be waged is changing too. No matter where our military goes, America must maintain a technological advantage on the battlefield. Advanced weapons systems like the F-35 make it easier for our troops to do their jobs and come safely home. Our elected officials owe our sons and daughters in combat nothing less than their full support of this invaluable program.

When it comes to multirole aircraft, the F-35 and its variants — one for the Air Force, one for the Marines and one for the Navy — embody the kind of sophisticated technology that is so vitally important for our troops. This fifth-generation aircraft will guarantee America’s superiority in the skies for decades to come.

Leveraging an array of technological innovations and advancements, the F-35 will ensure that the U.S. military has nothing to fear from nations like Russia and China. These countries do everything in their power to constantly update their respective air fleets. If they surpass the U.S. in this area, they will have more leverage over their neighbors. The world will quickly become an even more dangerous place if these hostile countries are allowed to develop a strategic advantage and begin to play an even more influential role in international matters.

The F-35 will also provide us with the capability to respond to nontraditional threats. Its adaptability makes it ideal to take on emerging threats from stateless enemies like ISIS. Many of our NATO allies will also be using this aircraft, providing an unprecedented opportunity to cooperate on multinational military operations in a highly coordinated, strategic manner. International coalitions have become a key tool in dealing with growing global instability.

The investments in developing this aircraft are clearly worth what our nation gains. We cannot skimp on providing the best possible technology to our men and women in uniform. They need the F-35 to enable them to do the job of protecting America. I hope we can count on New Hampshire’s members of Congress to remember that when considering the future of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Jennifer Horn is chair of the NH Republican State Committee.

Categories: Opinion