Bases in Ariz., Fla., Utah, Vt. picked to get initial share of Air Force's new F-35 fighter

The Air Force has chosen bases in Arizona, Florida, Utah and Vermont to serve as homes to the U.S. Air Force's pricey new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Operational missions of the single-engine jets would go to Hill Air Force Base in Utah and the Burlington Air Guard Station in Vermont. For training, the Air Force is recommending Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

The decision announced Thursday is a disappointment for seven bases passed over during this round of selections, including sites in Idaho, New Mexico, Florida and South Carolina.

The Air Force also announced Wednesday that 59 F-35 jets would be stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Military officials say the selection of the bases as "preferred alternatives" isn't cast in stone.