As a veteran of the Air Force Reserve with more than 20 years of service and a member of the Georgia Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee, I support the building of the F-35 Lighting II, the world’s most advanced fighter jet. I know firsthand how important it is for our armed forces to have the latest technology and to feel safe. 

Today, more than 6,600 of our neighbors working at 28 Georgia companies are helping build the F-35 Lightning II. Companies across our state working on the F-35 inject more than $705 million into our state’s economy every year. Georgia businesses of all sizes are part of an American supply chain more than 1,800 companies strong producing the state-of-the-art components this jet requires to maintain air superiority on the battlefield. 

In addition, as this fighter jet is put into service by more countries, we are able to show the world the kind of manufacturing and innovation skills Georgians bring to the table, helping our local companies be even more competitive when they seek new business.

Programs like the F-35 and the quality jobs they support are essential to Georgia’s growth as we approach the second quarter of the 21st Century. These are the kinds of jobs that provide families the stability they need to help our communities grow. But this bright future is only possible if the F-35 continues to be a priority in Washington, which is why I recently visited with our representatives there to encourage funding full production of this essential program.

I am pleased so many members of the Georgia delegation are supporting the F-35. I am also encouraged by President Biden’s support for full production of the program along with manufacturing of spare and replacement parts. I, along with my fellow veterans and others committed to the safety of our country and the continued health of Georgia’s economy, am counting on our representatives in Washington to keep backing the F-35.