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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AP) -- Hill Air Force Base is a finalist to house the Air Force's next-generation combat jet, the F-35.
The Air Force announced Thursday that the base about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City is among 11 nationwide that could get the first group of the fighter jets.
The Air Force is in the early stages of shifting to the F-35, an all-purpose combat workhorse that will form the backbone of U.S. air power over the next several decades. The F-35 is a stealth fighter and will replace F-16s and A-10 aircraft.
Environmental impact studies and site assessments must take place before final decisions on bases are made.
Air Force officials are expected to make their final decisions on where the F-35s will be based in 2011.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)