The fight over the basing of F-35s in Burlington has been going on for years: among the concerns is the noise from the new jets
According Air Force Times, on Mar. 26, 2018 Burlington City Council approved resolution asking to cancel F-35 basing in Burlington. The resolution requests the U.S. Air Force (USAF) base an aircraft quieter than the F-35 in Burlington.
However Vermont’s congressional delegation is standing by its decision to support basing F-35 jets at the Burlington Air National Guard Base as the City Council voted to request a cancellation.
The Vermont Air Guard said previously there is no alternative and that the F-35s would arrive in Burlington next fall. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch said Monday the Guard will work with the community on aircraft basing concerns.
As reported by VPR the fight over the basing of F-35s in Burlington has been going on for years.
Charles Simpson, an activist with Save Our Skies (the group that worked to get the item on the ballot) who is running for Burlington City Council, said among the concerns is the noise from the new jets.
“The old plane was the F-16. We’re bringing in the F-35 — four times louder, much bigger noise impact zone, which is going to put in jeopardy 3,000 homes,” he said.
Save Our Skies’ website lists other concerns, such as potential health impacts from exposure to high levels of noise.
Vermont’s Air National Guard has roots as the fifth guard unit in the U.S., federally recognized in August of 1947, a month after President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 which officially separated the USAF from the Army. The pilots were part of the 134th Squadron Unit.
The Vermont guard underwent many changes in its infancy, including being part of the 101st Fighter Wing in Maine in 1949. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the 134th was reorganized with the 158th Fighter Interceptor Group, now known as the 158th Fighter Wing.
Having no official air base as its own, field exercises were performed at Army Camp Johnson and air training at the local airport in South Burlington. The newly-formed Guard unit’s missions included air defense, state security, and air-sea rescue over Lake Champlain.
Falling under the Air Combat Command (ACC), the Vermont Air National Guard’s mission encompasses national defense, global deterrence, and air capability. The base’s medical and civil engineering components also participate in humanitarian missions in countries around the globe.
Additional source: 158th Fighter Wing
Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Tatro / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.co