Virginia lawmakers ask Air Force to consider state for more F-22s

The lawmakers are seeking to stave off the loss of hundreds of jobs around Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

Langley has already been chosen to house 36 F-22s, built by Lockheed Martin. However, the base will also lose its F-15 fighter jets, which are slated to retire.

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The retirement of the F-15s will result “in the loss of an additional 399 military jobs from an area already hit hard” by the latest round of Base Realignment and Closure in 2005, the lawmakers said in the letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force’s chief of staff.

Sens. Jim Webb (D) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program The Hill interview — DNC chief: I came here to win elections Virginia's governor race: What to watch for MORE (D) signed the letter with Reps. Glenn Nye (D), Robert "Bobby" Scott (D) and Rob WittmanRob WittmanNavy official: Budget, readiness issues led to ship collisions Air Force One is Trump’s new boardroom 355-ship Navy not a must under Trump's secretary nominee MORE (R). They want a briefing from Donley and Schwartz on the Air Force’s future plans to consolidate the F-22 bases.

The lawmakers stressed that Langley “clearly has excess operational capacity and modern facilities specifically constructed for the F-22 Raptor.”

“We seek to gain a better understanding of the status of the Air Force’s plan for realignment of the remaining F-22 squadrons,” they wrote. The Virginians are also calling for the Air Force to make the basing decisions in an “objective, transparent and defensible way.”

The Obama administration successfully capped the fleet of F-22 fighter jets at 187. Congress this year heeded calls from President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' MORE and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to curb the production of the stealth fighter jet. Obama personally threatened to veto the defense bills over more F-22 funding.