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WI Legislature overwhelmingly passes bipartisan resolution in support of the 115th Fighter Wing.

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WI Legislature overwhelmingly passes bipartisan resolution in support of the 115th Fighter Wing.
F-35 mission supports future of the 115th FW, 128th Air Refueling Wing and Volk Field CRTC

MADISON – On Tuesday the Wisconsin State Senate (32-1), and today the Wisconsin State Assembly (87-9) 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 in the 115thFighter Wing and who were selected over 18 other Air National Guard units to receive this mission.



About the Community Councils:

Founded in 2012, the Badger Air Community Council (BACC) is a non-profit organization composed of business and civic leaders committed to supporting the men, women, families and mission of the Wisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing.

128th Community Council’s purpose is to work closely with military leadership to assist or coordinate specific needs of airman. The Council educates and advises its members of the current state of the 128th ARW and political issues.

The primary mission of the Volk Field Community Council (VFCC) is to support the Volk Field Air National Guard Base’s (ANGB’s) mission, relationships and initiatives with their personnel, local community, all level of public officials and all those impacting and influencing their base operations and economic impact.




The Wisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard 128th Air Refueling Wing and Volk Field Air National Guard are directly intertwined in their missions and employ over 3,100 military and civilian employees and account for about $1 in $4 dollars of the total military economic impact in the State of Wisconsin, nearly $250 million annually.


Wisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing

Based in Madison at Truax Field, the 115th Fighter Wing currently accounts for over 1,500 military and civilian employees. The 115 FW has 18 F-16C Primary Aircraft Assigned (PAA) that support three primary federal missions: 1) Global Precision Attack by means of an Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) aviation package; 2) air superiority through AEF and Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) for Homeland Defense; and 3) global integrated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Importantly, the 115th Fighter Wing also serves a state mission through emergency response to catastrophic events and natural disasters; counter-drug operations; explosive ordinance disposal; and crash and fire rescue services at Dane County Regional Airport.

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Wisconsin Air National Guard 128th Air Refueling Wing

Located in Milwaukee since 1963, the 128th Air Refueling Wing serves its state and federal missions with more than 1,100 military and civilian personnel. It is currently home to 10 KC-135R Stratotanker Primary Aircraft Assigned with room for two additional PAA. As with other National Guard units, the 128th has both state and federal missions. Specifically, the 128 ARW notes that its mission is to “transfer fuel to United States’ Military and Allied aircraft, provide aero-medical evacuation, and airlift personnel and equipment to strategic locations in a cost effective manner. Thus, we are protecting and defending the United States’ global mission while simultaneously serving the communities of Wisconsin and incorporating a 24/7 National Guard Reaction Force.” The 128th Air Refueling Wing also provides a number of fiscal benefits to General Mitchell International Airport through joint service fees paid to the airport and additional equipment made available from the FAA due to heavy aircraft touchdowns generated by the 128 ARW.


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Volk Field Air National Guard Base

Located in Camp Douglas, Volk Field is home to the 128th Air Control Squadron (ACS) and the 126th Weather Flight. Volk Field is one of only four Combat Readiness Training Centers (CRTC) in the nation. A CRTC provides an integrated, year-round environment that allows for combined airspace, facilities and equipment training to be conducted in manners not available at a unit’s home station. The facilities approximate a Forward Operating Location and provide a realistic setting for conducting unit Operational Readiness Exercises and Inspections. Additionally, the CRTC oversees the operations and scheduling of the Hardwood Air-to-Ground Gunnery Range and over 11,000 square miles of special use military training airspace. The CRTC provides training opportunities for all Department of Defense components and also hosts non-military users such as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies; the Civil Air Patrol; and youth organizations. In addition to its federal missions, one of Volk Field’s primary state missions is to provide personnel and equipment to be used in protecting life and property, as well as preserving the peace, order, and safety of the general public. Volk Field also provides a Continuity of Operations (COOP) location for Wisconsin’s state government and the Department of Military Affairs.

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Source:  University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development


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