For decades the pilots assigned to Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing were some of the first the Air Force sent into combat, but it looks like the future of the 33rd will be to train other pilots to go into combat.
The Air Force won't be the only branch of service at the 33rd. You'll see Navy, Marines and foreign pilots and the F-35 JSF.
The sophisticated F-35 was developed by the U.S., Great Britain and their partner nations.
There are different versions which can takeoff vertically, or land on carriers. It will replace the F-16 and the A-10. It was unveiled only last month.
Around 2008 is when the F-15s, now at Eglin, will be moving out to the Air Force's active duty and Air National Guard units replacing older F-15s. Then a couple years after that, probably in 2010, the new fighters will move in.
This should bring around 2,200 military employees to the Emerald Coast.
The Air Force is waiting on results from an environmental impact analysis before moving ahead with the plans to convert the 33rd to a training mission.