Thousands of troops train at Volk Field in Juneau County

Published: Aug. 13, 2019 at 10:32 PM CDT
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Nearly 1,000 boots are on the ground at Volk Field for Northern Lightning training Tuesday.

Northern Lightning runs from August 12 through the 23, and includes about 20 active-duty units from the Air Force, National Guard, Navy and Marine Corps.

This comes after a proposal to base F-35 fighter jets at Truax air field in Madison. That plan has not been finalized.

The military says the tactical-level training tries to replicate today's air battle space. Some of the military planes used in the training include the F-35, F-22, F-16, EA-18 and C-130.

"They've got a large overland airspace where they can put down simulated surface air threats that we can train against as well as have a lot of pre-planned actual threats like tanks,” says Zachary Clements, Flight Commander of the 58th Squadron.

The F-35 in particular, a 5th-generation stealth aircraft, compared to the aging F-16 - is a big upgrade.

"It takes all the different sensors around the aircraft combines those in a single picture then displays it on a touch screen,” Clements says.