As one of the last major steps to be taken before the F-35A is officially based in Madison, there will be a public hearing on the U.S. Air Force draft Environmental Impact Statement Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Alliant Energy Center. The F-35A will replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years. It will bring with it enhanced aerodynamic performance, integrated avionics, next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

This new mission for the 115th Fighter Wing would ensure the benefits of Truax Field – including supporting 1,264 permanent jobs and 400 construction jobs, generating $100 million in annual economic impact, providing emergency services for Dane County Regional Airport and giving tuition support to area students who serve in the Guard – will remain in Greater Madison for decades to come.

The hearing will begin with an open house from 5-6:30 p.m. and conclude with a formal presentation scheduled from 6:30-8 p.m. If you plan to testify at the hearing, note that each speaker is allotted three minutes and will not be asked to take any questions. If you are unable to attend the hearing, we encourage you to submit written comments before the Sept. 27 deadline. You can submit your comments here.