The Montana Air National Guard plans to send its F-15c fighter jets to the Air National Guard base in East Central Fresno. Those jets will replace the current F-16s.
The base employs about four hundred civilian and military personnel. That number is expected to grow because the new F-15's have more attributes like two engines instead of only one on the F-16.
Congressman Devin Nunes says he doesn't know exactly how many jets are coming ... but it will ensure the continued operation of the base. "I would assume it would be similar to the number that we have today because they have to provide security for the entire west coast from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. We provide air cover and homeland security for that entire region."
Larry Westerlund adds, "We're the only area of the country that actually doesn't have F-15's already to guard the coastline. We're the only ones that have the F-16's and really these are F-15's that should have been here ten years ago."
The F-15 move from Montana to Fresno is expected to be complete by 2012.