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

    • March for Democracy Wisconsin – August 6
      Welcome to the March for Democracy Wisconsin! August 6, 2024 4:00 – 6:00 pm Location: Wisconsin State Capitol, State Street Entrance Tickets aren’t required – just show up! Come join us for a powerful day of unity and advocacy for democracy. Let your voice be heard as we march together for a…

    Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin is a member of Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ). Visit the News, Events and Facebook feed on the WNPJ website to find out about other peace & justice initiatives statewide.


    View live noise monitoring in East and North side Madison neighborhoods.

    1 hour noise meter reading graph

    This is a volunteer project carried out with assistance from Safe Skies Clean Water Wisconsin and SASY Neighborhood Association. (Details)

    Mapping the Jet Noise: Illuminating the Impact

    Madison

    Noise from fighter-jet departures since the arrival of the F-35s lasts on average about 30 percent longer and peaks at decibel levels that are about 40 percent louder compared to the prior period when the local 11515 flew F-16 fighters. Overall acoustic energy from fighter jet noise has increased by about 60 percent since the arrival of the F-35s.

    For a background summary, Aircraft Noise Statistics Interactive Map, other maps and follow-up efforts, visit our Noise-Mapping project page.


    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


    • Capital Times – Lake Monona’s foam has highest PFAS levels in Wisconsin, study finds
      July 12, 2024 | By Natalie Yahr Read online If you spend enough time near lakes or rivers, you might sometimes spot a fluffy layer of foam near the shore. For years, health and environmental officials warned Wisconsinites to steer clear of that foam. Though it’s usually made mostly of plants and microbes, it also…
    • March for Democracy Wisconsin – August 6
      Welcome to the March for Democracy Wisconsin! August 6, 2024 4:00 – 6:00 pm Location: Wisconsin State Capitol, State Street Entrance Tickets aren’t required – just show up! Come join us for a powerful day of unity and advocacy for democracy. Let your voice be heard as we march together for a better future. This in-person…
    • Mapping the Jet Noise: Illuminating the Impact
      This project aims to raise awareness about the increased noise pollution brought on by fighter jets stationed at Truax airfield in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison Wisconsin is often described as one of the most livable places in the United States, and has received numerous “best city” awards. We live in a vibrant University town, culture hub, a…
    • Citizen scientist Scott Pigg is measuring peak noise levels from F-35 fighter jets on Madison neighborhoods
      Isthmus, BY LIAM BERAN JUNE 11, 2024 8:00 AM Read online The data nerd is measuring peak noise levels from F-35 fighter jets on Madison neighborhoods After partially retiring in 2023, Scott Pigg wasn’t sure what to do with his newfound time. “I had loved my 30 years of collecting data and analyzing energy efficiency,”…
    • F-35 noise holds up housing as discord grows between Madison and airport officials – Wisconsin State Journal
      Lucas Robinson | Wisconsin State Journal, May 21, 2024 Read online The arrival of F-35 fighter jets to Truax Field is jeopardizing some city efforts to develop housing near Dane County Regional Airport. Discord is growing between Madison and airport officials over the way land is used near the airport, in particular with the proposed…
    • The Quietest Year film premiere – available April 24-30
      The Quietest Year Trailer (click here) An Invitation from Quiet CommunitiesSave the Date • April 24 – 30 Join us starting on International Noise Awareness Day for the online U.S. premiere of The Quietest Year! This documentary film sounds the alarm about noise as a major public health problem. Set in Vermont during the pandemic,…
    • Dutch Court Moves to Block Export of Fighter Jet Parts to Israel
      New York Times, By Cassandra Vinograd, Feb. 12, 2024 Read the full article online A court in the Netherlands on Monday ordered the Dutch government to stop exporting parts for F-35 fighter jets to Israel, a move that reflected mounting alarm over the heavy civilian toll of Israel’s war in Gaza but was unlikely to have…
    • ‘My heart starts to palpitate’: First of three listening sessions on the F-35 planes flying out of Truax Field
      Channel 27 WKOW TV, Grace Ulch, Feb 2, 2024 View article online (Emphasis ours) MADISON (WKOW) — Thursday night was the first chance for people who live in Madison to weigh in on the F-35 fighter jets that fly out of Truax Field. “We want to create that connection, find out how people want the…
    • ‘No one’s here to listen’: Noise, pollution concerns only grown since F35s arrived, community says at listening session
      Channel 3000Arman Rahman, Feb 1, 2024 MADISON, Wis. — Since the F35 jets landed at Truax Field roughly a year ago, residents at the first of a series of listening sessions organized by the Squadron and Air Force said their fears about noise and environmental pollution have come true. The sessions are part of an…
    • Capital Times – Madison needs more transparency on F-35s, residents say
      Capital Times Madison needs more transparency on F-35s, residents say By Andrew Bahl February 2, 2024 The Wisconsin National Guard should be more transparent about its efforts to reduce noise from the F-35 fighter jets now taking off and landing in Madison, residents said Thursday night at a military-sponsored event designed to gather feedback on…
    • Dane County airport needs new location, not new name
      Wisconsin State Journal Letter to the Editor Dane County airport needs new location, not new name The State Journal’s editorial last Sunday, “Airport needs a new name to fly higher,” suggested we call the Dane County Regional Airport “Madison International.” For many Madison residents, a new name would just be “lipstick on a pig.” At…
    • Why are F-35 fighter jets flying over Madison, and why are they so loud?
      Jan 10, 2024 | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Claire Reid Read the full story online   Noisy and distracting. The source of valuable economic and job opportunities. An environmental threat. “The most advanced fighter weapons system that the Air Force has ever fielded.” All this and more has been used by citizens, politicians and experts to describe the…
    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.


    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!

    TALKING POINTS  •  CONTACT INFORMATIONWRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR