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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Ground the F35 CODEPINK Roger Waters image
Ben Cohen, Roger Waters join organizations from Europe to South America in calling for President Biden and the U.S. Congress to cancel the manufacturing and training of the F-35 fighter jet.

Listen to WORT-FM’s coverage of the story (7-1/2 minutes)

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Why we’re opposed

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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) …


Decorate your home for the winter with these beautiful 2-sided yard signs, now back in stock!


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


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