First F-16 stationed at Truax Field departs to make room for F-35s

F 16 Leaves Truax Field
Courtesy of the 115th Fighter Wing

MADISON, Wis. — After nearly three decades, the first F-16 stationed at Truax Field has left the base to make room for the incoming F-35 jets.

The 115th Fighter Wing said 252 was the first jet of its kind to be stationed at the base when the Air Force began its transition away from the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

In April 2020 the Air Force announced Truax Field had been chosen as a host base for the new jets.

RELATED: F-35 jets’ home landing in Madison met with both excitement, disappointment

The decision to bring F-35s to Madison has been a highly contested one with lawmakers and residents speaking out in opposition to the plan.

Earlier this year the 115th Fighter Wing awarded the first of 19 military construction contracts to a local building company as local lawmakers and area residents continued protesting the jets’ arrival. Crews broke ground on an F-35 simulator facility in August.