What community leaders are saying about the
USAF selecting the 115th Fighter Wing for an F-35 Mission

 

 

Ron Johnson

"This is great news for the future of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, the employees of Truax Field, and all of southern Wisconsin," said Sen. Johnson. "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."

- US Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin)

US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)

“Congratulations to the dedicated men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing on your selection to be a preferred location for an Air National Guard F-35 squadron. I am pleased that the US Air Force recognized the tremendous strategic, geographic and economic capabilities that Truax offers. The 115th Fighter Wing plays an essential role in protecting the safety and security of Wisconsin and our nation. Having represented and advocated on behalf of the base for more than 17 years in Congress, I am excited about Truax’s selection for this new mission and the enduring economic benefit it will provide to our community and the State of Wisconsin.

- US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)

Jim Doyle

"As governor of Wisconsin, none of my duties brought me more pride than being commander-in-chief of our Wisconsin National Guard. Over the course of our history, and especially since the attacks of September 11th, our National Guard has been asked to make enormous sacrifices. Each time, they have responded with the same professionalism and courage that makes our state and our country so proud. Today’s announcement by the United States Air Force of the 115th Fighter Wing being chosen for an F-35 mission is further recognition of their exemplary service and professionalism and a further sense of pride for the Madison community and our state. Congratulations on another job well done!”

- Honorable Jim Doyle, former Governor of Wisconsin (1/6/2003-1/3/2011), former Attorney General of Wisconsin (1/7/1991-1/6/2003)

 


 

Scott Walker

“This is outstanding news for the State of Wisconsin,” Governor Scott Walker said. “I commend the Air Force's decision to select Truax Air National Guard Station as the next home for the F-35A Lightning II and the vital mission that the USAF's most advanced fighter aircraft will perform. The Air Force recognized Truax's unrivaled capabilities, meeting or exceeding all the necessary requirements for the mission, and the broad community support for the Wisconsin Air National Guard from the State of Wisconsin, the City of Madison and Dane County in making their announcement.”

- Honorable Scott Walker (R-WI), former Governor of Wisconsin (1/3/2011-1/6/2019)

State Representative Dianne Hesselbein

“Congratulations to the Airmen and Airwomen of the 115th Fighter Wing on your selection as preferred location for an F-35 squadron. The Wisconsin Air National Guard is important to the defense of the nation and gives an economic boost to Dane County and the State of Wisconsin.

- State Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton)

State Representative Melissa Sargent

“The men and women who work at the Truax Air National Guard base support our country and our community--their children attend our schools, support our local businesses, live in our neighborhoods, and are an important part of our community. This announcement ensures that the Truax Air National Guard base will continue to be a bedrock of our community. Congratulations and thank you to the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing.”


- State Representative Melissa Sargent (D-Madison)

 


 

State Senator Mark Miller

“Congratulations to my former colleagues at the 115th Fighter Wing on your selection to be a preferred location for the Air National Guard F-35 mission. As a former fighter pilot stationed at Truax and as the State Senator who represents the airport and the base, I know the value to the community of hosting the F-35 mission and also the value to the members of the 115th of the community support for that mission. The 115th Fighter Wing’s dedication to excellence and the support of our community, helped them rise above the other contenders for this mission.  Congratulations!

- State Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona)

State Senator Mark Miller

“On behalf of the City of Madison, congratulations to the 115th Fighter Wing on your selection to be a preferred location for the Air National Guard F-35 mission. The economic impact that the 115th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard plays in Madison and the surrounding area is immense, and by securing this ongoing mission for decades to come, will only continue to multiply that impact.”

- Madison Mayor Paul Soglin

Alder Samba Baldeh President of Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

“As a leader in the City of Madison, I recognize the great economic benefits that bringing the F-35 jets to Madison will generate. City officials and residents have been active and engaged in the environmental impact study process, presenting concerns to representatives of the Department of Defense (DoD). At this juncture, we are patiently waiting for the Air Force to make its final decision.”

- Alder Samba Baldeh, President of Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

 


 

Zach Brandon President of Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

“We are extremely proud and excited about today’s announcement for the 1,200 airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing, as well as for Greater Madison’s economy. The selection of the 115th to receive the F-35A ensures the benefits of the base – including $100 million in annual economic impact, emergency services for Dane County Regional Airport and tuition support for area students who serve in the Guard – will remain in Greater Madison for decades to come.

“This selection would not have been possible without years of commitment from the Wisconsin Air National Guard, the leadership of the 115th, strong support from Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, state leaders and local elected officials from Dane County and the Chamber’s partnership with the Badger Air Community Council. We are incredibly thankful to all of them for their hard work and dedication to making this day a reality. 

“We look forward to welcoming the F-35A to Madison and continuing to stand with the men and women of the 115th.”

- Zach Brandon, President of Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Jack Salzwedel Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance

“I’m proud to support the Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing based at Madison’s Truax field.

American Family is focused on doing what’s right for our communities – now, and for the future. That’s why we support the 115th Fighter Wing’s initiative to transition to the F-35.  

I’ve proudly served as the Honorary Commander of the 115th, and have seen first-hand our Fighter Wing’s incredible passion, dedication to excellence, and impressive training.

American Family is honored to support this important initiative for our nation and state. We look forward to continuing to stand with the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing.

Congratulations to 115th Fighter Wing on being selected the next Air National Guard F-35 base.”

- Jack Salzwedel, Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance

Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Congratulations to the men and women of the Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing on being chosen as a flight base for the F-35A. 

The deployment of these new aircraft is a credit to these individuals, the excellent operation at Truax Field and a supportive Madison and Dane County community. 

Many UW-Madison alumni serve with great distinction in the 115th. A large number of airmen who are part of the unit are current students at UW-Madison, and many are taking advantage of the Wisconsin National Guard's tuition reimbursement program. We are also proud of the fact that several ROTC grads from UW-Madison are in senior command positions at the base.

We’re proud to support our citizen soldiers and give thanks to all who serve for your dedication and sacrifice. We can’t wait to see the new aircraft flying in formation over an upcoming Badger football game!

- Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 


 

Dr. Jack E. Daniels, III, President, Madison College

“As a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, I am prideful of the news that Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing, stationed at the Truax Airfield less than one mile from Madison Area Technical College's main campus, was selected to base the F-35A. 

As you are aware, many Madison College students and alumni proudly serve their country as members of the 115th Fighter Wing and Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. A good number of these individuals have chosen career fields that is directly related to their field of study. It's no secret that persons who are knowledgeable and highly trained have vast opportunities for career advancement. That is true of the civilians upon whom Wisconsin's employers and our communities depend, as well as recruits who enlist to serve in the U.S. military as citizen soldiers. For these reasons, as the president of Madison College, I enthusiastically support the selection of the Truax Airfield and the 115th Fighter Wing as a flight base for the F-35A.

Please extend my good wishes to your fellow servicemen and women for your selfless commitment to preserving our freedom and keeping our country safe - and congratulations to the Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing on being selected as a finalist for the F-35A. It is a testament to your exemplary tactical training capabilities and readiness to answer the call of duty to serve the American people.”

- Dr. Jack E. Daniels, III, President, Madison College

- Deb Archer, CDME, President/CEO, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau and Madison Area Sports Commission

“On behalf of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau we are extremely proud and excited about today’s announcement for the 1,200 airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing, as well as for the Greater Madison economy.

The selection of the 115th to receive the F-35A ensures the benefits of the base – including $100 million in annual economic impact, emergency services for Dane County Regional Airport and tuition support for area students who serve in the Guard – will remain in Greater Madison for decades to come.

This selection would not have been possible without years of commitment from the Wisconsin Air National Guard, the leadership of the 115th, strong support from Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, state leaders and local elected officials from throughout Dane County and the business community’s partnership with the Badger Air Community Council. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication to making this day a reality. 

We look forward to welcoming the F-35A to Madison and continuing to stand with the men and women of the 115th.”

- Deb Archer, CDME, President/CEO, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau and Madison Area Sports Commission

- Jason Ilstrup, President, Downtown Madison Inc.

“On behalf of Downtown Madison, Inc. (DMI), our 48-member Board of Directors and our 500 members, we are proud and enthusiastic about today’s announcement for the 1,200 airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing.  We have learned over the years that a healthy city needs a healthy downtown and this announcement is good for downtown Madison.  Having the selection of the 115th to receive the F-35A will ensure the many benefits of the base including $100 million in annual economic impact. 

Madison is a special place to all of us and we are lucky to have an exceptional workforce and an enlightened business community.  To keep the 1,200 airmen and their families engaged in this community keeps Madison moving forward as the best place in the Midwest.  

We are grateful for the years of commitment from the Wisconsin Air National Guard, the leadership of the 115th, the Madison business community, our local elected officials and the Badger Air Community Council for their work, dedication and passion to make this day happen. 

We are looking forward to the F-35A’s arrival to Madison and continuing to stand with the men and women of the 115th!”

- Jason Ilstrup, President, Downtown Madison Inc.

 


 

Pat Richter, Former UW Athletic Director and BACC Member

“Congratulations to the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing on your selection for the F-35 mission. As a lifelong Madison resident, who grew up on the east side, I have had a long familiarity with the base and its operations. Growing up, I used to watch in awe as the planes flew over our house, and now, as a former Honorary Commander with the 115th Fighter Wing and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Badger Air Community Council, I get to stand in awe of the service to community and country these men and women provide.  Because of your dedication to excellence the US Air Force has honored you and our community with this mission. Congratulations on a job well done!”

- Pat Richter, Former UW Athletic Director and BACC Member

Paul Jadin, CEcD, President, Madison Region Economic Partnership

“Economic Development starts with retaining and growing your existing assets.  This announcement shows that Greater Madison understands that and has done what it takes to preserve the benefits of this base, from the hundreds of jobs to the emergency services, to the $100 million economic impact to the economy.  Hats off to everyone who made the commitment to this asset, especially the Wisconsin Air National Guard itself.  Congratulations and God’s speed to the men and women of the 115th.”

- Paul Jadin, CEcD, President, Madison Region Economic Partnership

John Larsen, Senior Vice President, Alliant Energy

“As Senior Vice President of Alliant Energy I am proud to represent our company in support of the 115th Fighter Wing. The men and women of the 115th are our neighbors and friends. In fact, two of these talented Airmen live on my street and our Alliant Energy headquarters is only a few miles from their base of operations. I’ve had the privilege of seeing firsthand the tremendous value of the 115th. Our company works closely with their response team to prepare for emergency situations, to make sure our energy infrastructure remains safe and secure. They are well schooled and disciplined in everything they do and undergo an unparalleled high-level of on the job training.  The assignment of the F-35 to Truax is critical to their continued value to Wisconsin, our region and the nation. Alliant Energy strongly supports the 115th Fighter Wing and we are very excited to hear that the US Air Force has selected Truax field as the next Air National Guard F-35 base. Congratulations!”

- John Larsen, Senior Vice President, Alliant Energy

 


 

Robert Trunzo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cuna Mutual Group

“As a business leader in Greater Madison, I proudly support the Wisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing. From the vital citizen support services provided to our residents, to the economic and educational impact, CUNA Mutual Group honors the outstanding contributions that our Citizen guardsmen and women provide to our community. By selecting the Truax Air National Guard base for an F-35 mission, the United States Air Force has recognized the superior professionalism and dedication to excellence of the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing. Congratulations and thank you for your service.”

- Robert Trunzo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cuna Mutual Group

Kim Sponem, President and CEO, Heritage Credit Union

“It is exciting to hear our Truax Field site was chosen as the future home of the F-35s. We believe Truax makes logical sense in protecting our national security, brings tremendous economic benefit to Dane County and our State, and keeps Truax as an important part of our community.”

- Kim Sponem, President and CEO, Heritage Credit Union

Anita Rauch, President and CEO, Heritage Credit Union

“Truax Field and the 115th Fighter Wing has been recognized as one of, if not the premier Air National Guard units in the country.  Being selected as the home of the new F-35 fighter jets is the result of achieving excellence in all they do to support our community and protect our country.”

- Anita Rauch, President and CEO, Heritage Credit Union

 


 

Brian Brugger, Executive Vice President of Veterans and Military Health, WPS Health Solutions

“The Air Force’s decision to base F-35 Lightning II at Truax Field is tremendous news for the Wisconsin National Guard, the greater Madison community, and Wisconsin as a whole.  Equipped with the F-35, the 115th Fighter Wing secures its future as a major contributor to our nation’s defense.

On behalf of the employees of WPS Health Solutions, I congratulate Together Truax, the Walker Administration, and the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation for their tireless efforts to bring the F-35 to Wisconsin.”

- Brian Brugger, Executive Vice President of Veterans and Military Health, WPS Health Solutions

Marv Siegert, Chairman of the Board, Badger Air Community Council

“For the last 69 years there has been an uninterrupted Air Force mission at Truax Field. From the F-51 Mustangs first assigned to the squadron at its formation in 1948, to becoming the first Air National Guard unit to fly a modern jet fighter with the F-89A Scorpion mission in the 1950s.  Following the F-89 was the F-102s in the 1960s-70s, the A-10 Thunderbolt in the 1980s and the assignment of the F-16s in the early 1990s. Today’s announcement regarding the F-35 mission, the sixth to be based at Truax, is strong recognition of the legacy of excellence the 115th Fighter Wing has established, as well as recognition of the community that has supported the men and women of the Fighter Wing over the last seven decades.”

- Marv Siegert, Chairman of the Board, Badger Air Community Council

- William F. White, Former Chairman of the Dane County Regional Airport Commission (‘94-’08)

“Congratulations to the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing on your selection for an F-35 mission. As the former chairman of the Airport Commission (1994-2008), I had the privilege of working directly with the Airmen at the Fighter Wing on a number of projects related to the airport and our greater Madison community. We established shared services between the military and civilian side of the airfield, saving Dane County taxpayers significant sums of money. We set a standardized series of flight patterns that took civilian and military aircraft on flight paths over the least populated areas in approaching and leaving the Airport. We set up a noise abatement committee which allowed the civilian and military personnel to listen to citizen complaints and to adjust operations accordingly.  Most notably we worked collaboratively on communications between the Fighter Wing and the community, especially as it relates to aircraft movement. The Fighter Wing has been a great neighbor and partner to work with, and with this announcement, they will continue to be for decades to come.”

- William F. White, Former Chairman of the Dane County Regional Airport Commission (‘94-’08)

 


 

Robb Kahl, Executive Director, Construction Business Group, Former Wisconsin State Assembly Representative (47th AD) 2013-17, Former Mayor of Monona 2003-2011

“Congratulations to the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing on being selected for an F-35 mission. This is fantastic news and well-deserved recognition. 

As a small business owner in Dane County, a former state and local elected official in Dane County, and as someone who actively works with labor and industry to enhance business opportunities in Wisconsin, this announcement that $100 million in annual economic impact will remain in the Greater Madison area for decades to come is truly outstanding news for our community and the health of our regional economy.

Thank you for service! Thank you for the sacrifices that your families make on our behalf. And congratulations on a job well done!” 

- Robb Kahl, Executive Director, Construction Business Group, Former Wisconsin State Assembly Representative (47th AD) 2013-17, Former Mayor of Monona 2003-2011

 - Terry McGowan, President/Business Manager, Operating Engineers Local 139

“Congratulations to the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing for being recognized for your dedication to excellence by being assigned the F-35 mission by the United States Air Force.   

The Airmen of the 115th are our members, neighbors, friends and family. Next to protective services, the construction services industry is the largest employer, and in particular as heavy equipment operators, of veterans in the state of Wisconsin. 

We are proud to stand in support of our state’s citizen soldiers, applaud you for this distinction and recognition and thank you for your service and dedication!”

 - Terry McGowan, President/Business Manager, Operating Engineers Local 139

 

Delegation Support Letter