Project Overview

The Madison F35 Community Connection project aims to build a stronger relationship between the Madison community and the 115th Fighter Wing at Madison’s Truax Field through education and engagement.

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs (WDMA) received a Department of Defense grant for community outreach and education. Community engagement will be key and will include:

  • Project, Communication, and Education Plans
  • Key Stakeholder Interviews
  • Listening Sessions
  • Stakeholder Surveys
  • Town Hall Meetings
  • Community Focus Groups
  • Online Engagement Opportunities
  • Community Summit

115th Fighter Wing Background

The 115th Fighter Wing, based at Truax Field in Madison, has a rich history dating back to World War II. Over the years, the unit has transitioned from flying propeller-driven aircraft to the current F-35 Lightning II.

In 2017, the U.S. Air Force proposed the assignment of F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Truax Field, replacing the aging F-16s. In 2020 the 115th was selected to receive a new fleet of F-35s. The F-35 mission plan has sparked community debate due to concerns about increased noise levels, environmental impacts, and its potential effects on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Proponents argue that the F-35s bring enhanced capabilities and economic benefits, while opponents express worries about the negative consequences of heightened noise in a densely populated area. The issue has prompted community discussions, public hearings, and legal challenges, reflecting the complex intersection of military operations and civilian concerns in Madison.