F-35 opponents spread message in Burlington: Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers In Vermont hosts info session
By: Mike Hoey for My Champlain Valley (Channel 22), Apr. 12, 2019
BURLINGTON, Vt. – The first F-35 fighter jet is coming to Burlington International Airport in September.
At first, opposition groups concentrated on the F-35 being noisier than the F-16s they’re replacing, but now, the attention seems to be shifting to nuclear capability.
The group ‘Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers In Vermont’ just formed earlier this year, and it got together Friday night for an information session in Burlington just after another F-35 crash.
A standing ovation greeted retired Air Force Col. Rosanne Greco in Burlington. The former South Burlington City Council president opposes the F-35 basing.
The Vermont Air National Guard revealed this week that the F-35s coming soon to BTV will not be nuclear-capable and that there are no current plans to eventually outfit them that way.
“What the Guard said was correct, but what people have to understand is that the Department of Defense can and will change military missions as security dictates,” Col. Greco said. “The decision to give them the nuclear capability, and perhaps, the decision to give the Vermont Air Guard a nuclear mission, is something the Department of Defense does not have to reveal to the public.”
A Japanese F-35 crashed into the Pacific Ocean earlier this week; the pilot is still missing. The only other crash of an F-35 to date was in South Carolina last September, “simply because they baby it,” defense analyst Pierre Sprey said. “It’s such a bad airplane, they’re very, very careful with it, so they get a fairly good accident rate.”
Sprey helped the U.S. Air Force come up with the design requirements for the F-16. He says the F-35 is worse than the F-16 in every way.