Badger Air Community Council: Wisconsin Legislature passes bipartisan resolution in support of the 115th Fighter Wing

MADISON – On Tuesday the Wisconsin State Senate (32-1), and today the Wisconsin State Assembly (87-9) overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution, Senate Joint Resolution 69, recognizing the contributions of the 115th Fighter Wing and showing support for basing F-35As at Truax Air National Guard base in Wisconsin.

The resolution recognizes the 71-year history of the uninterrupted Air Force mission in Madison, the role the 115th plays in the Madison community, the State of Wisconsin and our country and the interconnected relationship with the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee and the Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas.

The resolution also recognizes the continued statewide economic impact of the 115th Fighter Wing, including supporting 1,650 in-state jobs and $100 million of economic output.

Badger Air Community Council Executive Director Chris “Desi” Arenz released the following statement;

“As a former F-16 pilot with the 115thFighter Wing and now as a civilian member of the community supporting the men and women of the Wing, I could not be prouder of the support the community and state has provided to the Wing.  The 115thFighter Wing has a 71-year history of being an active outstanding community partner, and we look forward to continuing this partnership into the future with the new mission.”

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon released the following statement;

“The basing of the F-35A at Truax Field would guarantee the continuation of enormous economic and community benefits for Greater Madison and the entire state for decades to come. In our region alone, that means supporting 1,264 direct jobs and up to 400 construction jobs, generating $100 million in annual economic impact, providing emergency services for the airport and giving tuition assistance to area students who serve in the Guard. We are proud to support our friends, neighbors and guardians in the 115th Fighter Wing and appreciate the ongoing bipartisan support for our Airmen demonstrated by the adoption of this resolution.”

Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Steve Baas released the following statement;

“The strategic integration of the 115th Air Wing with Milwaukee’s 128th Air Refueling Wing not only provides our nation with additional security through strategic air power and training capabilities, it also provides thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in economic activity for our state.   We are proud to support the new mission of the 115th and look forward to the presence of the F-35 aircraft enhancing the mission and the strategic position of the 128th.”

128th Community Council Chair Mike Pierce released the following statement;

The 128th Community Council is proud to support the Wisconsin Air National Guard and the 128th Air Refueling Wing. Our mission is to educate our members, advocate for the Air Guard and promote the importance of the Guard in our community. Therefore, our success depends on their success. Certainly, this is true with the 115 FW and their future mission with the F-35.  The 115 FW and 128 ARW need the latest weapon systems to ensure their mission effectiveness. The 128th Community Council is ready and willing to support their future with the best equipment available to our Airmen!

Volk Field Community Council President Terry Whipple released the following statement;

After years of diligent work by the Volk Field CRTC to prepare our facilities & airspace for 5th generation aircraft, it is exciting to see it all come together.  The Volk Field Community Council is proud to see Volk Field play a part with the 115th Air Wing & the 128th Air Refueling Wing by providing a training environment where pilots can conduct realistic mission-oriented training. This training prepares them to counter the 21st century threats our nation faces.

Juneau County Economic Development Corporation President Bonnie Peterson released the following statement;

The Juneau County Economic Development Corp looks forward to the activity the F-35 training missions will bring to the area.  Volk Field is an important economic driver for our business, generating over $55 million in annual economic impact.  We are also proud to have the world’s best pilots and air crews to serve our nation train right here in Juneau County.

For the last 71 years there has been an uninterrupted Air Force mission at Truax Field. From the F-51 Mustangs first assigned to the squadron at its formation in 1948, to becoming the first Air National Guard unit to fly a modern jet fighter with the F-89A Scorpion mission in the 1950s.  The F-35 mission will be the tenth to be based at Truax. The 115thFighter Wing has established a legacy of excellence and has been a fantastic community member. We appreciate the overwhelming community support for our friends and neighbors who serve as the 115thFighter Wing in being selected over 18 other Air National Guard units to receive this mission.

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