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Imperial Valley to fight for the Joint Strike Fighter

May 8, 2012 |  7:19 pm

Joint-Strike Fighter
The F-35C Lightning II aircraft, now in the final testing phase, is meant to give the U.S. added punch in any fight.

The tussle to become the West Coast home for the Navy's version of the Joint Strike Fighter is also shaping up as a fight, with a large economic boost to the winner.

So the Imperial County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday allocated $10,000 for an informational campaign to convince the Navy that the El Centro Naval Air Facility, now the winter-home of the Blue Angels, would be ideal for its newest combat aircraft.

The Navy is set to choose between El Centro and Lemoore Naval Air Station near Fresno.

Bringing the Joint Strike Fighter to El Centro could mean 2,500 military personnel and 2,000 new civilian jobs, said Mike Kelley, chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

Other agencies and companies are contributing to the informational/lobbying effort, including Burgers and Beer, which has two locations in El Centro, which contributed $1,000.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Two Joint Strike Fighter aircraft in test flight last month over Atlantic. Credit: Navy / Lockheed-Martin