Vermont Air National Guard

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On Town Meeting Day in March, Burlington voters passed a resolution that asked city officials to request the cancelation of the basing of F-35 fighter jets at the Vermont Air National Guard base at the Burlington International Airport.   Although the mayor refused to sign it, the city council approved forwarding the resolution to the Secretary of the Air Force.  In the following weeks,  two other city councils passed similar resolutions.  On Tuesday, members of the business community were at the airport to warn of what they believe are the negative implications of losing the fighter jets.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Burlington VT Mayor's Office

On Town Meeting Day in March, Burlington voters approved a resolution asking that the Air Force cancel the planned basing of F-35 fighter jets and find another mission for the National Guard base.  A few weeks later, the city council voted to forward the resolution to the Secretary of the Air Force with additional questions.  But Wednesday, the city’s mayor announced he will not sign the council‘s resolution.

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The Burlington, Vermont City Council approved a resolution Monday night on the controversial plan to base F-35s in the city. The council voted to forward the Town Meeting Day ballot item requesting the Air Force cancel the basing of fighter jets at the Air National Guard base at the Burlington International Airport.

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Earlier this week, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted criticism over the F-35 fighter jet program. It caused Lockheed Martin stock to fall 2.5 percent. It also raised some eyebrows in the Northeast. The Vermont Air National Guard is scheduled to begin receiving the fighter jet in 2019.  Supporters of the F-35 say they aren’t worried those plans will change because the tweet raises two very different issues.

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Opponents of a U.S. Air Force plan to base F-35 fighter jets in Burlington are deciding whether to challenge a federal judge’s decision issued Wednesday that will allow the jets to come to the Vermont Air Guard base beginning in 2019.

The Stop the F-35 Coalition and six Chittenden County residents filed suit against the Secretary of the Air Force alleging that the strict review required under the National Environmental Policy Act when preparing the Environmental Impact Statement for basing the fighter jets at the Vermont National Guard was inadequately conducted.  

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The U.S. Air Force has released a revised draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed siting of the F-35 fighter jet at the Burlington Air National Guard Base. While there are some changes to the document, it doesn’t appear to have diminished the debate over the mission.

A Vermont Air National Guard general says he is seeking the office of state adjutant general, the top National Guard position in the state.

Brigadier General Steven Cray of Essex Junction announced his candidacy Friday.

In Vermont the adjutant general is chosen by a secret vote of the Legislature for a two-year term. The vote is Feb. 21.

Cray would succeed Major General Thomas Drew, who assumed the job last summer after former Adjutant General Michael Dubie resigned. Drew is not seeking a full term.