Air Force officials review Truax, Volk Fields for F-35A mission - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Air Force officials review Truax, Volk Fields for F-35A mission as decision nears

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As the bid to land new fighter jets at Truax Field enters the home stretch, military officials toured that site and several others in Wisconsin to better inform their pending decision.

The Air Force announced in December 2016 that the 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard is one of five finalists to receive new F-35A jets as part of a new mission.

That list will soon be narrowed down to two "preferred" bases that will get the new planes.

The head of the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce told 27 News Friday that Air Force officials were in Wisconsin recently and liked what they saw.

"The Air Force has been out to visit. They've done a full top-down tour. They've looked at the air space, they've looked at Volk Field, they've looked at Milwaukee...within the last month," said Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce.

The 115th currently flies the oldest fleet of F-16 fighter planes still in Air Force operation, which are expected to be discontinued in the next decade.
    
If they are discontinued and the 115th doesn't get a new mission, it could dissolve.

Chamber President Zach Brandon said the area's "Together Truax" campaign has helped promote this location as the perfect spot for the new fighter jets.

The 115th Fighter Wing is comprised of 1,200 airmen as well as 50 full-time employees.

It contributes roughly $100 million dollars per year to the local economy that would be lost without a new mission.
    
The other finalists for the F-35A are National Guard units based in Montgomery, AL; Boise, ID; Jackonsville, FL and Detroit.

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