Dane County Regional Airport
Truax Field is located at the Dane County Regional Airport, just on the northeast side of Madison, Wisconsin. Truax Field was activated as an Army Air Base in June of 1942. It was deactivated as an active military base in 1968, when it was taken over by the Wisconsin Air National Guard. It was named in honor of Lieutenant Thomas L. Truax, a Wisconsin native, who was killed in a P-40 training accident in November 1941.
Truax Field is currently home to the 115th Fighter Wing, which flies the F-16 aircraft. Truax Field is approximately 130 acres in size and has 44 buildings with a square foot total of approximately 400,000. The weekday workforce is approximately 350 persons and increases to about 1000 persons on a Unit Training Assembly weekend.
The 115th Fighter Wing has two distinct missions. The Federal mission is to staff and train flying and support units to augment Air Combat Command general purpose fighter forces to effectively and rapidly project F-16 combat power anywhere in the world to perform wartime or peacetime missions as well as operations other than war. 115 FW will maintain mobilization readiness and conduct training in support of Total Force capabilities as directed by gaining commands. The State missionis to provide trained and equipped units to protect life and property and to preserve peace, order, and public safety as directed by the Governor of Wisconsin.
Dane County Regional Airport (Truax Field) occupies 4000+ acres, has 110 buildings, 4500 employees, and an economic impact to the area, exceeding $100 million annually. Dane County Regional Airport is no longer just regional. Located in Madison, WI it's a gateway to the world, offering travelers a full range of flights to regional, national and international destinations; and the sophisticated array of services that are to be expected in a top-notch facility serving a thriving metropolitan area. Commercial air carriers that offer service from the Dane County Regional Airport include Northwest, United Express, Midwest Express, American Eagle(American), Trans World Express(TWA), Comair(Delta), and Skyway (Midwest Express), Continental Express, Chicago Express (ATA).
In 1994, citing noise abatement and capacity needs, the Dane County Regional Airport proposed adding a new runway. The preferred option involves building the new runway across Messerschmidt Road, which would be ended in cul-de-sacs on either side. In spring 1997, work began on the new runway -- estimated to cost more than $17 million. That project was expected to take two to three years to complete and was designed to reduce noise in nearby neighborhoods. On July 24, 2001 Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum approved a $3.8 million project to complete improvements and a variety of design and study work at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison. The project includes $2.4 million to expand the west apron area this year. The remainder of the project involves completing the east ramp drainage study, a wildlife study, an environmental assessment for the Runway 13 and 18 safety area, and designing improvements to the east general aviation area.
Protective covenants govern Truax Air Park development; providing architectural review and guidance during project planning and construction. These covenants outline specific standards for architectural control, parking, and landscaping that assure only high quality development throughout the Park.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Dane County Regional Air Guard Station/Truax Field, WI; Joe Foss Field Air Guard Station, SD; Des Moines Air Guard Station, IA; Fort Wayne Air Guard Station, IN; and Lackland Air Force Base, TX; by relocating baselevel F-110 intermediate maintenance to Capital, establishing a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) at Capital for F110 engines. DoD claimed that establishing a CIRF at Capital would consolidate F110 engine intermediate maintenance for F-16 aircraft from five air reserve component units, and compliments other Air Force CIRF recommendations. The Capital CIRF would be centrally located in proximity to the serviced installations, and would utilize Capital's experienced people and existing facilities as part of an Air Force effort to standardize stateside and deployed intermediate-level maintenance concepts. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 4 jobs (3 direct jobs and 1 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Madison, WI, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent).
DoD also recommended to close Cannon Air Force Base, NM. As a result, it would distribute the 27th Fighter Wing's F- 16s to the 115th Fighter Wing, Dane County Regional Airport, Truax Field Air Guard Station, WI (three aircraft). DoD claimed that this move would sustain the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force mix by replacing aircraft that retire in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
Secretary of Defense Justification: Cannon has a unique F-16 force structure mix. The base has one F-16 Block 50 squadron, one F-16 Block 40 squadron, and one F-16 Block 30 squadron. All active-duty Block 50 bases have higher military value than Cannon. Cannon's Block 50s move to backup inventory using standard Air Force programming percentages for fighters. Cannon's F-16 Block 40s move to Nellis Air Force Base (seven aircraft) and Hill Air Force Base (six aircraft to right-size the wing at 72 aircraft) and to backup inventory (11 aircraft). Nellis (12) and Hill (14) have a higher military value than Cannon (50). The remaining squadron of F- 16 Block 30s (18 aircraft) are distributed to Air National Guard units at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM (16), Andrews Air Force Base, MD (21), Joe Foss Air Guard Station, SD (112), and Dane-Truax Air Guard Station, WI (122). These moves sustain the active/Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve force mix by replacing aircraft that retire in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
Commission Findings: DoD's justification for closing Cannon was the Air Force's overriding strategy to more effectively employ the shrinking Air Force structure by organizing its weapon systems into fewer, larger squadrons and by eliminating excess physical capacity. The Commission found this recommendation would allow the Air Force to relocate newer model F-16s as backup inventory to Active and to Air National Guard units. These moves would sustain the Active, the Air National Guard, and the Reserve force mix by replacing F-16 aircraft that will be retired in the 2025 Force Structure Plan.
Commission Recommendations: Realign Cannon Air Force Base, NM by disestablishing the 27th Fighter Wing and distributing its aircraft to meet the primary Aircraft Authorization (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. After disestablishing the 27th Fighter Wing, the Air Force shall establish an enclave at Cannon Air Force Base that shall remain open until December 31, 2009 during which time the Secretary of Defense shall seek other newly-identified missions with all military services for possible assignment to Cannon Air Force Base, NM. If the Secretary designates a mission for Cannon Air Force Base during this period, the enclave would revert to the status appropriate for the designated mission. If the Secretary does not find a mission for Cannon Air Force Base by December 31, 2009, Cannon Air Force Base and the enclave shall be closed. Nothing in this directive shall prohibit the State of New Mexico and the Department of Defense from entering into an agreement to close the enclave at Cannon Air Force Base earlier than December 31, 2009.
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