Gowen Field is very popular in Treasure Valley.
Citizens strongly support the Idaho Air National Guard’s current operation at Gowen Field. They are also well aware of the retirement of the A-10 Warthog aircraft mission, and they support a new flying mission for the base. They also support the new F-35 fighter jet as the replacement mission for the A-10 Warthog.
Those conclusions are the results of a new professional poll of Treasure Valley citizens measuring their support for Gowen Field and the new flying mission. The U.S. Air Force is selecting a base for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter mission. Gowen Field is among five finalists being reviewed by the Air Force.
Treasure Valley civic, business and political leaders have been very vocal in their support of Gowen Field and the new mission, citing the importance of the Air National Guard base for Idaho’s economy, including the employment base and spinoff opportunities. They have written letters to the Air Force and enlisted the support of Idaho’s congressional delegation.
The survey was conducted at the end of September by national polling firm Cicero Group/Dan Jones & Associates, using a sample size of 1,003 respondents in the Treasure Valley area, with a possible error margin of plus/minus 3 percent.
Here are highlights of the poll results:
- The vast majority of Treasure Valley residents (92%) support the Idaho Air National Guard being located at Gowen Field in Boise.
- A smaller, but still very strong, majority (82%) of Treasure Valley residents support a new flying mission after the A-10 Warthog is retired in 2021.
- Some 73% of citizens support the F-35 as the next flying mission. The relatively small minority who oppose the new F-35 mission would most likely have their opinion changed if they could learn more about the planes and hear the new planes for themselves.
- The majority of residents indicated they would support the new F-35 mission if the audible noises were limited to 10 minutes in the morning and evening.
- Most residents (62%) were aware that the current Warthog mission is scheduled to end in 2021.
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Treasure Valley residents were aware of the F-35 proposal. Residents appear to be unclear, however, as to the details, with half indicating that the public has not received enough information.
- For the most part, residents receive their information regarding the subject via television news and newspapers.
- Residents are interested in knowing what the economic impact of the new F-35 mission would be.
- Support for Gowen Field and the new mission was strong in all four area counties, including Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee, and among both males and females.
More information about the new mission is available at: www.gowenstrong.com.