Burlington asks for a halt of F-35 flights during pandemic
By Aidan Quigley
April 13, 2020
The Burlington City Council is asking Gov. Phil Scott and the state’s congressional delegation to attempt to stop the Vermont Air National Guard’s F-35 training flights during the coronavirus pandemic.
The resolution, passed in an 11-1 vote, asks the governor and congressional delegation “to do everything within their power to halt the F-35 aircrafts’ training flights and mobilize the Vermont Air National Guard to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.”
Councilor Ali Dieng, I-Ward 7, voted against the resolution. Dieng said that while he was against the basing of the F-35, he thought it important to rally around Scott because the governor is doing a good job responding to the coronavirus crisis.
Scott and the Guard do not support the push to stop the flights.
Col. David Shevchik, the commander of the 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont National Guard, said in an interview Monday that the Guard is both committed to its state missions, including fighting the coronavirus, and its federal F-35 mission.
“I think it’s important for the public to know that these missions are not mutually exclusive,” Shevchik said. “We can do both, we are doing both, and we will probably continue to do both.”[FULL ARTICLE]