Our mission is to stop the harm that the basing of F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field, Madison will inflict. In addition, we work to stop the negligent pollution of our waters and force the clean-up of existing contamination of the water supply emanating from the base.  

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Upcoming Events (check back for more)

The Madison chapter of World Beyond War is very active in efforts and movement-building to prevent nuclear war, including opposing the F-35 fighter jets. Please visit their website for a listing of upcoming events, including letter-writing, community outreach, debates and films: worldbeyondwar.org/madison

World Beyond War.org logo

    Read articles about the recent F-35 Jet crash in South Carolina

    “For all its flaws, and despite it being the most expensive weapons system ever developed, there’s no danger that the program will be scrapped anytime soon.”


    I watched two 
    barn swallows swoop
    the field we had planted.
    unlike the two
    National Guard jet
    fighters which had
    roared us again
    and again a hour
    earlier, the swallows
    were not armed with
    four rockets each, and
    did not anger me
    because I knew
    what nation they
    guarded, and I sang
    aloud to honor them
    and their nation.

    Gogisgi-Carroll Arnett, French/Cherokee poet

    Watch this 12-minute video to learn more about the damaging effects of F-35 fighter jet noise on children.

    produced by Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin, April 2023

    Transcript (PDF)

    Colonel Rosanne Greco, USAF (Ret.) sat down for a Zoom meeting on April 15, 2023 to discuss the Burlington, Vermont-area efforts to prevent the F-35 jet from being based in that area.

    Media links on arrival of the first F-35s

    Why we’re opposed

    Download our detailed brochure here

    The F-35s are expected to be four times louder than the current F-16s. There would be an initial 47% increase in military operations and 27% long-term. The level of noise can have a detrimental effect on a variety of people including those with PTSD, autism, mental illness and other neurological and sensory vulnerabilities. Children will especially be affected.

    The number of households within the 65 dB contour zone would increase by 1,019 and the number of people exposed would increase by 2,215. One hundred and thirty-two households and 292 people would be located in the 75dB contour zone where housing is “incompatible.”

    Some noise abatement funds may be available through the FAA after a lengthy review process which would not begin until about two years after “beddown” begins and flights are stabilized. The initial increase in flights is due to having both F-16s and F-35s at the base.

    There will be a significant disproportionate impact to low-income and minority populations as well as children, according to the Environmental Impact Statement produced by the Air Force.

    Medical studies have shown that noise has a far reaching impact that can lead to stress, sleep disturbance, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes. Children will be particularly impacted by increased noise levels, producing cognitive impairment, negative effects on reading and memory, and post-traumatic stress. Children in the Truax area are already struggling prior to starting school, according to a 2018 Madison neighborhood study, with less than half considered “kindergarten ready.” In a city struggling to overcome persistent racial disparities, flying an outrageously noisy fighter jet over elementary schools is likely to intensify the equity injustice.

    The U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s largest institutional user of petroleum, and therefore the single largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, with the largest portion of Pentagon fuel consumption being for military jets. (Brown University study) And in 1997 the US negotiating team won a blanket military exemption under the Kyoto climate accord; thus military emissions do not need to be reported to the United Nations. Learn more

    Negative impacts of noise on children Include cognitive impairment, reading, memory and post-traumatic stress. Each jet will emit seven tons of CO2 for every hour in flight. The F-35s will also emit other harmful chemicals and fine and large particulates, making breathing difficult for everyone, but particularly children. Learn more

    Because of the nature of the plane’s composition and its stealth coating, a crash of the F-35 in or near Madison would emit toxic fumes for miles, and putting out an F-35 fire would require many times more PFAS-containing fire-fighting foam.

    Pilots at Truax will be training to fly the F-35A fighter jet, a plane designated as a key part of the US strategic nuclear force in the Pentagon’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review.

    All F-35s will eventually be capable of carrying two B61-12 variable capacity nuclear warheads, up to four times more powerful than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Truax would not initially have nuclear weapons onsite but, if the planes were given a nuclear mission, the military is not required to disclose this to the public.

    The F-35 is the most expensive weapons system in history and will cost US taxpayers $1.7 trillion over the life of the project. The cost of each F-35A to taxpayers is $110.3 million, according to the Center for Defense Information, and and the cost to taxpayers of the Truax squadron will be $2,206,000,000. Each hour of flight is about $40,000 per plane.

    A portion of the cost for Truax to accommodate the F-35s will be borne by state and local taxpayers. This includes the clean-up of existing contaminants at the base and noise mitigation and housing for residents who need to be relocated. Dane County is responsible for all noise abatement, not the military. Costs could reach tens of millions to relocate people and to soundproof homes in the impacted areas. There will be no funding for abatement of the homes of the 60,000 people immediately outside of the 75 dB zone. And there is no way to mitigate noise outdoors.

    Many military experts contend that fighter jets would be useless in a nuclear war and other jets are better suited for conventional warfare.

    Our current security threats come from pandemics, cyber attacks and terrorism, none of which the F-35 can counter. The Air Force states the F-35 project will bring “no significant impacts to socioeconomics” and only provide “up to” 64 jobs for Lockheed Martin and regular Air Force personnel. The F-35 is a “job killer” when compared to jobs that can be created in education, clean energy, health care and infrastructure for the same investment. Trading in fighter jets for a new Air National Guard mission, such as medical and disaster relief, will provide more jobs and align more closely with Madison’s progressive values.

    War spending created fewer jobs than similar spending investment in clean energy, public education, and health care. Learn more

    Legal Actions

    Air Force & Truax Information

    Air Force Record of Decision
    Final Environmental Impact Statement
    Truax Construction Timeline

    Take the F-16 Noise Survey (See results) …

    We still have 2-sided yard signs left! Please contact yardsigns@safeskiescleanwaterwi.org

    Please continue to contact public officials, write letters to the editor, call in to radio shows and share your views with others!


    • F-35 911 call: ‘We’ve got a pilot in our house, and he says he got ejected’
      The incident Sunday involving the stealth fighter jet prompted the military to ask the public for help in finding the aircraft. A debris field was later located. (Emphases ours) Sept 22, 2023 NBC News | By Josh Cradduck and Phil Helsel Read online “I guess we’ve got a pilot in our house, and he says he got ejected.” … Read more
    • A missing F-35 fighter jet highlights the tragicomedy of military spending
      An $80 million stealth fighter jet vanishing for over a day is the kind of thing you’d expect in a farce or satire. Sep. 18, 2023 By Hayes Brown, MSNBC Opinion Writer/Editor Read the full article online The F-35 Lightning II is meant to be the crown jewel of America’s airborne fleet. Each of these … Read more
    • Authorities locate debris of F-35 fighter jet that crashed in South Carolina
      The Guardian, September 18, 2023 Read online It is the third event documented as a “Class-A mishap” over the past six weeks, according to a Marine Corps announcement. Such incidents occur when damages reach $2.5m or more, a Department of Defense aircraft is destroyed, or someone dies or is permanently disabled. Authorities found a debris … Read more
    • US military asks for help to find missing F-35 fighter jet after ‘mishap’ sees pilot eject
      The Guardian, Mon 18 Sep 2023 Read online Search for F-35B Lightning II fighter jet focused on two lakes after Marine Corps pilot ejected over North Charleston for unknown reason US military officials appealed to the public for help finding a fighter jet after losing track of it over South Carolina when the pilot ejected. … Read more
    • Letter | Where are elected officials on F-35s?
      Sep 11, 2023, The Cap Times Read online Dear Editor: While out in my patio recently, two F-16s took off from Truax Field using the north-south runway and flew southeast over the east side of Madison. About 10 minutes later, two F-35s took off from the same runway and flew southeast in the same direction. … Read more
    • Capital Times – Guest Column – U.S. senators could spearhead removal of F-35s
      Capital Times Opinion | U.S. senators could spearhead removal of F-35s By Diane Michalski Turner | guest column There are battles and there are wars, and just because one loses a battle does not mean that the war was lost. Allison Garfield’s article describing the arrival of F-35 fighter jets at Truax Field last April had … Read more
    • Military thrives as needs go unmet
      August 26, 2023 | The Cap Times Read online Dear Editor: I was indoors the other day. I paused and replayed a portion of a podcast and interrupted Zoom as I interviewed new teachers in the afternoon. Why? The F-35s overhead. Where do I live? Near Schenk’s Corners in Madison. When I’m outside I cringe … Read more
    • News From the Back Yard Universe
      In episode five, Helena White experiences F-35 fighter jets, a Kestrel and a Coopers Hawk – all at the same time! The News From the Backyard Universe was created by Helena White to explore the happenings in her backyard over the summer of 2023. For more episodes (without F-35s) visit wort-fm/parelleluniverse
    • The F-35 Lightning’s Vulnerability To Lightning – correction
      Defense News, Valerie Insinna | Jun 24, 2020 Read online Excerpts: WASHINGTON — The most widely used variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is currently unable to fly in thunderstorms after the discovery of damage to one of the systems it uses to protect itself from lightning, its prime contractor Lockheed Martin said Wednesday. To safely fly … Read more
    • Rep. Porter Plays “JeoparDOD” to Expose Waste at the Pentagon
      You many know more than some of the Congresspeople.
    • Upgraded F-35s won’t be accepted by Pentagon come July
      By MICHAEL MARROW on June 12, 2023 at 1:12 PM | Breaking Defense An unknown number of new F-35s will be held up as a result of ongoing testing for the TR-3 system, with deliveries expected to start between December 2023 and April 2024. Read online WASHINGTON — Starting in July, newly built F-35 Joint … Read more
    • How loud are those F-35s really? We’re starting to get some numbers
      Lucas Robinson | Wisconsin State Journal, Jun 20, 2023 Read or listen online A few excerpts: With F-35 jets at Truax now a firm reality — the first of 20 arrived in April — those who fought the decision to station the jets with the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing have turned their … Read more