Thousands of troops train at Volk Field in Juneau County
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.