Madison residents still negatively impacted by arrival of F-35 fighter jets
By Angelica Euseary – Oct 25, 2023 | Madison 365
This story was produced as part of a collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity, a newsroom that investigates inequality.
On a hot July afternoon, Amanda Crim was sitting on her porch when she was startled by the abrasive noise of an F-35 fighter jet flying by her house.
She pulled her phone out to record the jet after noticing there was another one flying by. She recalled, vividly, just how loud it was.
“This might have been the first time I heard them while I was outside,” Crim said. “I was like, ‘Wow’. That’s part of why I took the video was because I wanted to have visuals so that I could go and check to see if it was actually an F-35. It was very loud. I remember as I was recording it, I held my phone in one hand and put my free ear to my shoulder, just trying to plug my ear. It was definitely something that I didn’t want to listen to. It was unpleasant.”
Crim is one of many residents of the North and East Sides of Madison who have for years opposed the addition of F-35 fighter jets to the Wisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing, warning of noise pollution that could make the neighborhood unlivable as well as potentially hazardous water pollution. Now that the F-35s were deployed earlier this year, they say their fears have been realized, as the noise of the fighter jets impacts their daily lives. And because the neighborhoods around the airport are disproportionately populated by people of color, advocates are taking the case to the federal government, alleging that the presence of the fighters is a racist civil rights violation — even if it’s unintentional.