Why is Vermont Getting the F-35?

The Vermont National Guard has obtained a military aircraft known as the F-35.

F-35 Overview

Also known as the F-35 Lightning, this aircraft is a fighter jet to be used by the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Additionally, a handful of these planes are being sold to American allies for various uses. Typically, similar aircrafts were used for missions such as reconnaissance, intelligence and surveillance. However, new features enable this fighter jet to carry out attack missions.

Why Vermont Is Obtaining The F-35?

The Vermont National Guard has been particularly active performing in-state, as well as national missions geared towards protecting American citizens. For example, this unit gained significant attention for dispatching F-16 fighters (the forefathers of the F-35) to securing New York’s airspace following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Additionally, the Vermont Guard participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and other sensitive missions within the Middle East.

The aircrafts, which each cost roughly $94 million, will be housed at Burlington International Airport. A senior member of the Guard said these aircrafts will ensure Vermont’s participation in serving State and national interests for at least the next 30 to 40 years.

Local Objections

Not everyone inside Vermont’s borders welcome the arrival of these planes. Certain members of the population fear the aircrafts could potentially exert adverse environmental impacts. Burlington Airport is situated in the one of the State’s most populated regions that contains several residential and industrial areas. Moreover, some residents fear the additional noise impact the state-of-the-art, stealth-like jet will produce.

Military’s Response

Military officials claim that they are cognizant of resident concerns and are already implementing safeguards to ensure the individual and environmental impact are as tolerable as possible.

In response to the community’s concerns, National Guard officials have put their heads together and formulated noise abatement plans. These strategies include rerouting the aircrafts away from residential areas when performing various training maneuvers and will try to accelerate take off times to further limit any noise pollution.

A senior Guard official continued that the aircraft’s safety record is impeccable. These crafts have logged more than 200,000 hours without any significant incident. That said, military personnel will continue to address the community’s concerns and strive towards making whatever improvements are necessary to exist in harmony with Vermont’s people and environment.