People opposed to F-35 fighter jets at Madison’s Truax Field were outside Governor Tony Evers Capitol office on Monday morning. Tom Boswell is an organizer with the group Safe Skies Clean Water.
“We have a delegation of people, including some of our local public officials, ready and willing to meet,” Boswell said. “We want him to negotiate with the Air Force.”
“For the last couple of months he’s been constantly saying how he cares about our children. About (how) he cares about their education and he cares about their mental health. And we’re saying the time is now governor to make your actions match your words.”
They’re asking the Air Force to “change the mission of Truax,” where WKOW 27 News reported the group began the day on Monday. The F-35 are scheduled to deploy with the Wisconsin National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing in May, replacing the F-16.
Opponents say the jets will be detrimental to the environment and the mental health of residents around the base, especially kids. “We have 59 schools and daycares within three miles of the base, and everybody knows this is going to be very very harmful for their education and their mental health” said Boswell.
Proponents of F-35 cite benefits to the area’s economy, including jobs at the base. Evers’ office did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. Opponents have said U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin has been similarly unresponsive to their concerns.