Defense

June 10, 2013

Vermont Guard: Five/ categories will decide F-35 basing

Wilson Ring
Associated Press

The Air Force is going to use five broad criteria in deciding whether to assign the F-35 fighter jet with the Vermont Air National Guard and base the planes at the Burlington International Airport, a top guard official said June 6.

A score sheet will note the cost of basing the planes in Burlington, the capacity of the Air Guard base to handle the planes and the training areas and weather in which the planes would fly.

Another section would include information from an environmental impact study, and the last category is called military judgment, which looks at the role of the base in the national military strategy, said Brig. Gen. Dick Harris, the top Vermont Air Guard officer working to take the F-35 to Burlington.

Some of the answers are objective, but others are subjective judgments that will be made by Air Force personnel. The final decision on whether to bring the F-35 to Vermont will be made by the secretary of the Air Force this fall.

In the final basing decision, they will look at all this information,î Harris said June 6 during a briefing with reporters at Camp Johnson in Colchester.
The Air Force has already said Burlington is its preferred location as the spot to assign 18 or 24 of the new fighters, which would replace the aging F-16s the Guard flies now. There are two other National Guard bases also being considered, along with three active duty Air Force bases. The secretary will pick one National Guard and one Air Force base.

The plan in Burlington has provoked fierce opposition from some people, mostly because the F-35 is significantly noisier than the F-16.

Last week, the Air Force released a revised draft environmental impact statement, done to take into account population growth in the area around the airport between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, that increased by about 20 percent the number of people who would be most affected by the noisier plane. Up to about 7,700 would be affected by the noise if 24 planes were assigned to Burlington.

The June 6 briefing was designed to help explain the process being used to choose the base and allay concerns.

Harris and others acknowledged the F-35 is louder than the F-16, but the guard pilots could help reduce the effect of that noise through a variety of factors, including the way the planes would be flown.

South Burlington City Councilor Rosanne Greco, one of the most outspoken opponents of having the F-35 in Burlington, said the criteria used in the score sheet seemed logical.

Looking at it at face value, it seems like a pretty fair process, Greco said.

But she claimed an earlier score sheet was done using information from the F-16, which has flown out of Burlington for more than 25 years.

The data they used in parts of the process was not relevant to the F-35,î she said.

She said she also was concerned a new aircraft could be more prone to crash and the most likely place that would happen is in the heavily populated areas around the airport on takeoff or landing.

But guard officials said the plane would be fully tested and the pilots trained before they began flying in Burlington.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>