The U.S. Air Force has named the 115th Fighter Wing based out of Truax Field in Madison as one of two preferred candidate bases for missions involving the F-35A Lightning II fighter jet. The other location selected is the Dannelly Field Air Guard Station in Montgomery, Alabama.
The decision means Truax Field could start seeing the fighter jets arrive in 2023, as the Air Force works to replace aging F-16s and other units.
The decision received praise from U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). In a statement, Baldwin said the decision shows the Air Force “has recognized the tremendous strategic, geographic and economic capabilities that Truax offers.”
Johnson said it’s great news for the future of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. “I applaud the Air Force for recognizing the strategic importance of our state, and I look forward to Wisconsin playing a major role as the Air Force modernizes and enhances its capabilities to keep America safe and secure,” Johnson said in a statement.
Governor Scott Walker called the news “outstanding,” and a recognition of “Truax’s unrivaled capabilities, meeting or exceeding all the necessary requirements for the mission.”