By: Cat Viglienzoni, Oct. 26, 2018
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Parts of the Vermont Air Guard base in South Burlington are nearly unrecognizable on the inside and out, buildings gutted and in the process of being revamped.
“This is an exciting period for us,” said Col. David Smith, the commander of the 158th Fighter Wing.
WCAX News learned key parts of the $100 million construction are coming together in the next year:
-The airfield will be finished in December; it’s currently 90 percent complete.
-The main maintenance hangar will be finished in May; right now it’s 30 percent complete.
-The ops building renovations are on track for February; they’re currently two-thirds done.
-The F-35 flight simulators are also expected for February; that’s two months early.
The Vermont Air National Guard will get four F-35 simulators in preparation for the arrival of the F-35s. We got a look at one Friday and it is one of the last times we will be allowed in. The Guard says once it’s classified, there will be no cameras allowed.
The simulators are to help train the 25 pilots the Vermont Guard expects to have trained on the fighter jet. The 158th Fighter Wing is getting 20 planes– 18 active and two backups. We also learned four Guard pilots are already flying the fighter jet at other locations.