From: James Marc Leas [mailto:[email protected]vermontpatentlawyer.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2013 12:07 PM
To: Gookin, Christopher J CPT USARMY NG VTARNG (US)
Cc: Lauren Victory WPTZ; David charns WPTZ; WCAX; John Briggs;
Kevin Kelley; VPR2; Other Paper 2; Dumont Jim;
Subject: F-16 afterburner and mitigation
Dear Cpt. Gookin,
I am delighted with the statement by General Cray on Thursday,
the Burlington Free Press article, "Air Guard: F-35's ability to
fast limits noise concerns--Commanders meet with media to discuss
At the start of the Thursday media session, Adjutant Gen.
pledged that his administration will be as "open and transparent as
Cray was sworn in as the leader of the 4,000-member Vermont National
Guard three months ago.
At the same news conference, the Free Press reports this statement
noise mitigation: "We feel strongly that we can mitigate those
working with the community on the noise issues," Brig. Gen. Richard
told reporters during a meeting at the Guard's headquarters at Camp
In view of the commitments to being open and transparent and to
would you please answer the following questions about the
1. When were the F-16 planes fuel tanks moved from under the fuselage to the wings on the VTANG F-16 fighters?
2. Was the move of the fuel tanks to the wings responsible for increased use of afterburner?
3. Did the increased use of afterburner cause more noise in the region of the Burlington airport entrance?
4. What measures did the Vermont Air National Guard take at that time to mitigate the noise from the afterburner?
5. What measures did the Vermont Air National Guard take at that time to avoid the need for $40 million of federal taxpayer funds to be allocated
to purchase 200 affordable homes near the airport entrance and for many of the families to be voluntarily bought out at full price and relocated
and 55 of the homes to be demolished so far?
6. Were the F-16 planes at any other Air Guard or Air Force base not converted to wing-mounted external fuel tanks?
7. How many F-16 planes are in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes?
8. How many of the F-16 planes in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes were converted to wing mounted external fuel tanks?
9. How many of the F-16 planes in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes were not converted to wing mounted external fuel tanks?
10. Do any of the F-16 planes with wing-mounted external fuel tanks not require use of the afterburner for takeoff?
11. In view of the Vermont Air National Guard commitment to mitigate noise will the Vermont Air National Guard reconsider the move to
wing-mounted fuel tank and resume use of the fuselage mounted external fuel tank?
12. How did the Vermont Air National Guard determine that moving the external fuel tank to the wing would reduce metal fatigue and extend
service life of the aircraft?
13. Was the determination based on computer modeling? If so, has this computer modeling showing that adding weight to the wings reduces
metal fatigue been verified?
14. What part or parts of the F-16 is subject to greater metal fatigue in the absence of the heavier weight on the wings provided by the wing
mounted external fuel tank?
15. How long would the part or parts subject to metal fatigue have been expected to last both without the move of the external fuel tank to the wings
and with the move?
16. What is the cost of replacing that part or those parts in the event they do wear out?
17. Was the cost of replacing that part or those parts considered in view of the displacement of 200 families from afterburner noise and the $40
million of taxpayer money to buy them out?
Thank you very much for the commitment to being open and
transparent. I look
forward to your prompt response to these relevant questions.
James Marc Leas
Thank you for your continued interest in the F35 basing process. As you know the Vermont Air National
Guard has a long history of safely operating fighter aircraft at the Burlington International Airport.
As responsible community partners, the Air Guard complies with FAA and Air Force regulations and
standard operating procedures. Depending on mission requirements the Vermont Air Guard has 4
different wing-tank configurations they have used since 1986. Power setting at take-off is a combination
of configurations, gross weight and weather condition.
As far as the housing purchase you refer to, the Burlington International Airport is the lead agency for
that program. They work under guidelines of the FAA. I would recommend your questions be directed
to those two agencies.
The questions regarding metal fatigue and service life are beyond our scope to answer. We recommend
you contact F-16 Special Program Office, part of Air Force Material Command located at Wright
The Vermont Air Guard is committed to being a good neighbor and will work with the community to
minimize any impacts of the F-35 basing.
Captain Chris Gookin
State Public Affairs Officer