F-35 Moving into South Burlington, Vermont?

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News Excerpt from NECN – Air Force F-35 proposal rattles Vt. cities

Jun 14, 2012
(NECN: Jack Thurston, Winooski, Vt.) – A United States Air Force proposal to locate a fleet of fighter jets in Chittenden County, Vermont’s most populous county, appears to be drawing increasingly vocal opposition in Winooski and South Burlington. But Thursday, the commander of the Vt. National Guard tried to reassure the public that the military will operate the fighters in a safe, neighborly manner.”We see the F-35 in Burlington as a pathway to the future,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie.

Dubie was talking in a rare public way about the F-35, the military’s next generation of fighter jets. The Air Force has proposed placing 18 or 24 of the radar-evading bombers at the National Guard base in South Burlington, possibly in 2015….

The South Burlington City Council recently voted 4-1 to tell the Air Force it does not support the jets taking off or landing in the community.”If we don’t speak up for the residents of South Burlington, who will speak up for them?” asked council chair Rosanne Greco….

Greco is a retired Air Force Colonel who initially supported the new F-35s until she read more about possible noise increases. NECN asked her if she believes the Air Force will take the council’s vote seriously, or simply do what it wants to do based on logistics and costs.”Having been in the Air Force, overwhelmingly mission takes priority over everything,” Greco acknowledged. “[But they should] listen to the people who are most closely affected by the basing.”….

The Winooski City Council may take a stand on the F-35s before the close of the public comment period next week. The city’s school board has already voiced concern over the idea, citing the unknown impacts on children and possible disruptions to their education. The Air Force is expected to announce by November whether or not the jets will bed down in South Burlington.

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