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Sun, May 07, 2023

Wisconsin Guard Unit Second ANG to See F-35s

115th Fighter Wing Welcomes First 4 of 20 Aircraft with Homecoming Ceremony

A Wisconsin Air National Guard Unit has become the second ANG unit in the country to get its hands on F-35 Lightnings after taking delivery of the first 4 of 20 aircraft.

The 115th Fighter Wing received their first F-35s on April 25th, accepting their new charges with a ceremony at their new home at Truax Field. Bringing the fighters home were airmen Captain John Lorbiecki, Major Jacob Jerzewski, Major Joe Pavela and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Koob, who returned to friends, family, and community leaders bearing their brand-new aircraft. 

“It’s with great joy and obligation that we accept this challenge today of becoming the second Air National Guard fighter wing with the F-35,” said Colonel Bart Van Roo, the 115th FW commander. “As we take on this new challenge, with so much national and international importance, we look forward to working with you all to continue to maximize what we bring to our communities for decades to come.”

“Our team effort was built on three pillars -- the stellar and well-deserved reputation of the 115th Fighter Wing with years of great leadership and vision got us in the game, the airspace and ranges of Volk Field, Hardwood and Ft. McCoy rounded out our unique training complex, and the 128th Air Refueling Wing ensured ready support for extended training and real-world missions,” said Brigadier General David May, assistant adjutant general for the Wisconsin Air National Guard. “The three Wisconsin air bases were a potent combination of talent, will and desire for us to be selected for conversion.”

“To the Badger Air Community Council, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, our hometown construction companies, community leaders and of course Lockheed Martin, thank you and congratulations for being a part of this effort. You’ve had an enormous impact on the security of our great nation and the preservation of peace,” added May. “To those less than excited about the arrival of the F-35, know that we will continue to be responsible and honest members of the community. The community where we work, live, worship and raise our families as faithful Wisconsinites as we continue the proud legacy of Truax Field that started over 7 decades ago.”

FMI: www.ang.af.mil

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