Next two Air National Guard F-35A bases selected

The Department of the Air Force has selected Truax Field, Wisconsin, and Dannelly Field, Alabama, as the next two Air National Guard (ANG) bases to become home to the F-35A Lightning II.

The final selection was announced on April 15, adding that the air arm expects the F-35s to begin arriving at the two bases in 2023. This follows the completion of required environmental analysis on the locations, which was started in early 2018.

The fifth-generation multirole stealth fighter will replace many of the service’s fourth-generation aircraft, but the USAF is seeking to employ a mix of these types until the 2040s to provide uninterrupted deployments, provide training and maintain fighter aircraft numbers.

F-35A [USAF/SSgt Kate Thornton] #1
A USAF F-35A Lightning II prepares for aerial refuelling whilst en-route to Graf Ignatievo air base, Bulgaria, in April 2017. USAF/SSgt Kate Thornton

Truax Field is a part of Dane County Regional Airport, near the city of Madison in Wisconsin. The base hosts the 115th Fighter Wing (FW), which has flown the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon since 1993. The unit will begin to receive the F-35A to phase out and replace the F-16 as the latter celebrates its 30th anniversary of operations with the squadron.

Dannelly Field is attached to Montgomery Regional Airport, southwest of Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama. The base is home to the 187th FW, which has operated the F-16C/D since 1988. 

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M Barrett, said: “The Department of the Air Force selected the 115th [FW] and the 187th [FW] as the next [ANG] locations to receive the F-35A… Putting F-35s at these two bases continues our transition into the next generation of air superiority.