Today, the Congressional Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Mike Turner (OH-10), John B. Larson (CT-01), Marc A. Veasey (TX-33), and Martha Roby (AL-02), announced record support for the F-35 Program, with 103 bipartisan cosigners for the FY2020 appropriations and authorization letter. The letter requests funding for 102 F-35 aircraft.

“As you consider the Fiscal Year 2020 defense authorization and appropriations bills, we strongly urge your continued support for the F-35 Lightning II program.  As you well know, our adversaries continue to advance surface-to-air missile systems and develop their own stealth fighters. It is essential that we continue to increase production of our nation’s only 5th generation stealth aircraft in order to ensure the United States maintains air dominance and to further reduce overall program costs,” wrote the Members.

“The F-35’s unique capabilities and lethality have enhanced our air superiority and bolstered our ability to deter adversaries,” said Turner. “Now is the time to increase procurement to match emerging threats. Doing so ensures our continued dominance of the skies, enables the realization of cost savings, and assures our partners that we are committed to 5th Generation Aircraft.”

“Global threats continue to increase and it is imperative that we continue to support our nation’s only 5th generation fighter,” said Larson. “The F-35 is of vital importance to the national security of the United States and our allies, and supports thousands of high-skilled manufacturing jobs in Connecticut and across the country. I am tremendously proud of the unprecedented support that our request received.”

“The competitiveness and safety of the United States military is our top priority,” said Veasey.  “Congress’ financial commitment to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is key to bolstering and maintaining our national security and the security of our allies. I’m proud that Dallas-Fort Worth is home to the development and production of F-35s, and continue to believe in the mission and future of this vital program.”

“The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is our military’s most cutting-edge war machine, and it is critically important to the national security of the United States and our allies,” said Roby. “Congress must increase procurement of this next-generation fighter jet to ensure our country’s continued dominance in the skies.”

The F-35 JSF program contributes to our national economy by supporting more than 1,400 suppliers and more than 220,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country. This adds up to more than a $44.2 billion annual economic impact across 45 states and Puerto Rico.