The Vermont National Guard, the first guard unit in the country to be assigned the F-35 stealth fighters, is due to take delivery of the first aircraft this month.
Burlington City Council, Vermont, has voted to oppose the basing of nuclear delivery systems at the Burlington International Airport in advance of the expected arrival of F-35 fighter jets this month.
WCAX-TV reports the council voted unanimously on Aug. 12, 2019 in favor of a resolution that opposes the basing of any nuclear-capable aircraft at the airport in South Burlington. According to Stars and Stripes, it also calls on Mayor Miro Weinberger, Gov. Phil Scott, and Vermont’s congressional delegation to tell the U.S. Department of Defense that the city of Burlington strongly opposes the basing of a nuclear weapon delivery system at the Vermont Air National Guard Base.
According to WCAX, the Vermont Air National Guard has previously said there are currently no plans for the jets to carry nuclear weapons.
Noteworthy 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 approve a resolution asking to cancel F-35 basing in Burlington), said last year that 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.
The Air National Guard instead says that the jets are safe and aren’t any louder than the F-16s which were previously held at the base.
The Vermont National Guard, the first guard unit in the country to be assigned the F-35s, is due to take delivery of the first aircraft next month.
The F-35s are replacing the F-16s.
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.
Photo credit: U.S. Air National Guard