Beaufort base prepares for next generation jets

F- 35 Joint Strike Fighter

BEAUFORT — The Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort is getting ready for the nation’s newest jet fighters.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Thursday at the base to start construction of a hangar and training facilities for the new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The work will cost $70 million and take about two years.

In all, there will be about $350 million in construction at the base as it prepares to house the new stealth fighters.

A base spokeswoman says security will have to be tighter for the stealth aircraft. Beaufort will have a training squadron as well as an operational squadron.