Wisconsin, Alabama awarded F-35 for ANG

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tbarlow

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Unread post15 Apr 2020, 20:12

Wisconsin, Alabama awarded F-35 for ANG

MADISON, Wis. – Air National Guard units based in Wisconsin and Alabama have been awarded squadrons of F-35 fighter jets, the U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday, overcoming vocal opposition from people who live near the base in Wisconsin's capital city.

The jets will be placed with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison and with the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field in Montgomery, Alabama. The first jets are expected to arrive in late 2023.

The jets will replace older F-16 aircraft and will allow the Air Force to meet other requirements for readiness and training, the Air Force said in a statement.

Locating the jets in Madison has divided the state and community over the past three years, with many people who live near the airport saying noise and pollution from the jets will lessen their quality of life and value of their homes. The Air Force said in a preliminary report that noise from the F-35s could make more than 1,000 homes “incompatible for residential use.”

But there was a broad base of support that included businesses, communities, economic developers, office holders, veterans and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Supporters argued that concerns over the noise are overblown and there won't be much difference from the current F-16s. Advocates said having the next generation of jets will be an economic development boost, ensuring the future of the base in Madison, which employs about 1,200 people.

Madison’s City Council passed a resolution opposing the jets, but the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has been a vocal supporter. The chamber, which represents businesses in Madison, said the Air National Guard wing has a $100 million annual economic impact on the community. There was also bipartisan support from Wisconsin politicians, including both its Democratic and Republican U.S. senators.

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Source: https://www.ksat.com/business/2020/04/1 ... hter-jets/
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Unread post19 Apr 2020, 14:47

Congrats to Wisconsin and Alabama!

I wonder though, what the full criteria consisted of. I know Barnes ANG base here in Westfield, MA was under consideration - but lost out. Sounds like part of the issue was that the Wisconsin/Alabama ANG squadrons flew F-16's, whereas Barnes flies F-15C's in the homeland defense role.

I hope then, this means Barnes gets the F-15EX. New jets will be a long time coming, as they flew A-10's for over 20 years before transitioning to the F-15, those being flown for the past 15 years or so. Would be exciting to see factory fresh F-15's put through their paces, although I must admit I was really pulling for the F-35..

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