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Wisconsin National Guard Base Is A Finalist For F-35A Fighter

Truax Field Is 1 Of 5 Candidate Bases; Air Force Set To Choose 2 Bases In Spring 2017

Samuel King Jr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Wisconsin’s National Guard base in Madison is a finalist to receive an advanced stealth fighter plane.

Gov. Scott Walker’s office announced Wednesday the U.S. Air Force has selected Truax Field as one of five candidate bases for the F-35A Lightning II.

Major Kristin Boustany of the 115th Fighter Wing said the military will conduct a final round of studies before choosing two bases to house the fighter.

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“The Air Force will assign site survey teams to determine the preferred candidates and reasonable alternatives,” Boustany said. “That is set to announce in the spring of 2017.”

State officials say hosting the F-35A would protect Truax if Congress calls for another round of cost-cutting and base closures from the Pentagon.

Boustany said the F-35A would succeed the F-16 Fighting Falcons that have been in use at the base since the 1990s.

The new planes would arrive in 2022 or 2023.