Madison named as preferred location for F-35 jets, some residents still opposed

MADISON, Wis.– The community has heard opposition to housing F-35 jets at Truax Field since the possibility was first announced. Now, weeks away from the final decision, those who oppose are trying to have their message heard.

A group of Madison residents against the next generation fighter jets gathered at Communication, an artist space, to make signs and plan for a rally on Saturday, Feb. 29.

Hayley Archer lives in Eken Park, one block away from the area expected to be significantly impacted, and said hosting the jets nearby would not make her feel safe.

“It’s a completely undemocratic process. They are dumping these planes on us,” Archer said. “We want the U.S. Military to listen to us, and to let us decide what is best for our community because we are the ones who live here.”

Allen Ruff said he doesn’t live close enough to Truax Field to be affected by noise, but is still concerned with having the jets in Madison, or anywhere.

“This is a very small planet. The world is our backyard,” Ruff said.

Despite protest, the Air Force will make their final decision between Madison and Montgomery, Ala. within the next 30 days.

A final Environmental Impact Study released by the United States Air Force listed the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison as a preferred location for F-35 jets and broke down impacts into categories.

Military officials received more than 6,400 public comments, most of them focused on noise, according to an article from the Wisconsin State Journal.

The National Guard Bureau said it was incorporating all relevant comments “as appropriate” into the final Environmental Impact Study.