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Madison named top choice for advanced F-35 fighter squadron

Posted at 7:15 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 20:54:14-05

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Truax Field in Madison is the military's top choice become home to an F-35 fighter squadron.

Officials say the 18 advanced jets would be flown by the Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing and replace all of the old F-16 fighters currently based at Truax Field. The planes would arrive in 2022.

Madison beat out other locations considered by Defense Department in Idaho, Florida, and Michigan.

The Dane County Regional Airport's selection as a top choice means the military will conduct an in-depth environmental impact study and gather public comment before making a final decision. A base in Alabama is the military's second choice.

Madison political and business leaders campaigned to win the F-35s as a way of preserving the economic benefits from the base, which employs 445 people full-time.