Macomb Co. officials hope to land F-35 program at Selfridge

Macomb County is pulling out all the stops in its effort to attract a new fighter jet to Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth generation stealth combat aircraft, capable of both ground attack and air defense missions.

Right now, Selfridge is one of five bases under consideration to support the aircraft. Securing the F-35 would be a major step toward securing the long-term future of the Harrison Township compound.

"We have wonderful facilities down at Selfridge that could easily handle the F-35. We have some of the best training air space and ranges on this side of the Mississippi River where we could make sure that we're ready to do the job," says Brig. Gen. Doug Slocum. "But, more importantly, we have the absolutely fantastic citizen airmen that are part of your hometown air force here at Selfridge, that have proven themselves through the years to be absolutely the best."

Two bases will be announced as preferred locations for the planes this spring.

If Selfridge is selected, the F-35s could arrive in the early 2020s.