Senior Guard leaders invite the media to base saying they hope voters will vote “no” on ballot item
By Stewart Ledbetter
February 28, 2018
Days before an F-35 advisory question goes before Burlington voters, the Vermont Air National Guard opened its base to media Wednesday afternoon, showing off some of the work now underway to upgrade facilities and taxiways, and its enthusiasm for the new fighter jets.
Senior Guard leaders left no doubt that they hope residents vote no on Question 6 on Tuesday.
The referendum, prompted by a petition drive this winter, asks voters whether Burlington’s City Council should formally request the U.S. Air Force send a safer, less noisy aircraft to Vermont to replace the aging F-16 jets.
The city owns the airport which leases space to the Vermont Air Guard.
Opponents of the F-35 said they’re not giving up, and in at least three other states the Air Force agreed to substitute aircraft long after its initial basing decision.
For now, the Air Force plans to send 18 F-35 fighter-bombers to Burlington sometime in late September 2019.
Opponents point to Air Force studies and documents showing the F-35’s louder engine will aggravate thousands of residents living in neighborhoods near the Burlington International Airport.
Vermont Air Guard Col. Henry Harder told reporters he thinks the noise will be about the same as today’s F-16 jets.[FULL ARTICLE]