DeFOREST (WKOW) — DeForest village board President Judd Blau this week sent a resolution to U.S. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett supporting F-35s being based at Truax Field.
The resolution, passed by the village board in March 2018, supports basing the F-35s at Truax Field.
In 2018, our Board supported the Air Force’s recommendation to base the F-35 at Dane County Airport. The board reaffirmed their support at the board meeting this week and President Blau sent the Resolution to U.S. Air Force Secretary, Barbara Barrett. #f35 #madisonwi pic.twitter.com/zr9ULoBPQw
— Village of DeForest (@DeForestWI) November 7, 2019
The next generation fighter jets have become controversial over concerns about noise and the environmental impact.
DeForest, located north of Madison, is in the flight path from Truax.
The public comment period ended Nov. 1, and from those comments, the National Guard will draft responses to those comments in their final Environmental Impact Statement, which will be published in January.
Traux is one of two preferred sites for the new fighter jets.
The F-35s would replace 18 F-16 jets currently at Truax Field, home to the 115th Fighter Wing.
Opponents of the F-35s have been vocal about their opposition to the jets.
Reports show more people on the northeast side will be living close enough to hear an average sound level of 65 decibels if they come to Madison. Some fear that will that will bring lower property values, hurt businesses nearby and greatly impact their quality of life.
According to the aerospace engineers who designed the engine for the F-35 it’s up to nine decibels louder during takeoff than the F-16s.
The 115th Fighter Wing said there’s noise abatement options available, and for most homes the sound would only be a little louder than a vacuum cleaner.
Supporters of the jets include the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce. President Zach Brandon said Truax Field already brings more than 1200 jobs to the region, so securing their future would help Madison economically, but bringing in the F-35’s would mean an additional 400 construction jobs and 64 long-term positions at the base.
“The base and those 1200 employees put a $100 million of economic output into region and when you multiply that by the life of this aircraft, that’s $3.3 billion,” he said.