National Guard officials and Senator Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday that the U.S. Air Force will base 18 F-35 fighter jets at the Vermont air guard facility. Opponents plan to continue their efforts to stop the plane from coming to Vermont. Supporters, ecstatic with the selection, say it’s time to move forward.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says it's time for Congress to stop hampering the state’s fragile economic recovery and find a responsible solution to what he calls a manufactured crisis.
Shumlin was joined by Vermont National Guard officials and others Monday to outline how the federal government shutdown is affecting state. They said an estimated 5,000 federal workers who live in Vermont are seeing reduced hours or furloughs, and a monthly National Guard training weekend affecting 3,000 troops was canceled.
The U.S. Air Force is in the process of deciding where it will base a new jet, the F-35. Burlington International Airport, which is the host airfield for the Vermont Air National Guard, is on the short list and a preferred site for hosting the state-of-the-art plane. But the idea is controversial, with split votes in surrounding communities over support for the aircraft. Thursday morning, Vermont National Guard officials met with the media to discuss issues relating to the F-35.
The U.S. Air Force says information regarding support for basing the new F-35 fighter jet at the Burlington International Airport was overstated in the just released revised Environmental Impact Statement. But supporters say the corrected numbers are still skewed because officials are counting a petition with more than 10,000 signatures as only one comment.