A four-ship of F-35A Lightning IIs returns to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after a sortie February 1, 2013. Pilots with the 33rd Fighter Wing began flying the formation for the first time at Eglin AFB.

Madison’s Truax Field chosen by U.S. Air Force to house F-35 fighter jets

MADISON, Wis. – Madison’s Truax Field is the preferred choice to house the next-generation F-35 fighter jet, the U.S. Air Force made official in an announcement Thursday.

The decision means the U.S. Air Force intends to replace the F-16 fighter jets currently flown at the base with 20 F-35A Lightning II jets. The aircraft have been in development by the Air Force and Lockheed Martin for 17 years.

Madison beat out other locations being considered by the Air Force and the Department of Defense including Dannelly Field Air Guard Station in Montgomery, Alabama; Gowen Field Air Guard Station in Boise, Idaho; Jacksonville Air Guard Station in Florida and Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Detroit.