Dannelly Field, Montgomery, Alabama

Today marked a momentous occasion at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama, as a special ceremony unfolded to welcome the arrival of the new F-35A fighter jets. As a photographer privileged to witness this historic event, I can attest to the sense of pride and excitement that filled the air.

Dannelly Field, home to the esteemed 187th Fighter Wing, stood as a symbol of our nation's commitment to defending freedom and advancing military capabilities. With the introduction of the F-35A, considered the world's most advanced stealth fighter jet, the 187th Fighter Wing solidifies its position as one of the United States Air Force's most reliable combat units.

The ceremony was graced by the presence of esteemed individuals, including Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who emphasized the significance of this moment in our state's history. With the F-35A replacing the F-16s that departed last year, Governor Ivey underscored the importance of Alabama's role in safeguarding freedom for future generations.

Witnessing the unveiling of these cutting-edge aircraft, it was impossible not to acknowledge the collaborative effort that made this day possible. Alabama National Guard Adjutant General Brigadier General David Pritchett expressed gratitude to the multitude of partners involved in bringing the F-35A to Dannelly Field, emphasizing that this achievement was a testament to the dedication and teamwork of all involved.

Beyond its military significance, the arrival of the F-35A is poised to make a significant impact on the Montgomery workforce. With approximately 2,000 jobs directly or indirectly tied to the F-35A, and an economic impact totaling 2 billion dollars, the new aircraft heralds a new era of growth and opportunity for the community.

As a photographer, capturing the essence of this momentous occasion was both an honor and a privilege. From documenting the sleek lines of the F-35A to immortalizing the expressions of pride on the faces of those in attendance, I am reminded of the power of photography to preserve history and evoke emotion.

As the 187th Fighter Wing prepares to receive a total of 20 of these remarkable jets over the next five years, I am grateful to have been a witness to this historic day. It serves as a reminder of the dedication, sacrifice, and unwavering commitment of our military personnel and the communities that support them.

Location: Dannelly Field

Client: Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce

Camera: Canon 5D Mark IV

Lenses: Canon EF 24–105, Canon EF 70-200

Lens Harness: Think Tank Photo Pixel Racing Harness