[Editor’s note: In an Aug. 13 story about the Burlington City Council’s debate on the upcoming delivery of F-35 stealth fighters to the Vermont Air National Guard, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the council voted to oppose the basing of Lightning IIs at Burlington International Airport. The council actually voted to oppose the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system at the airport, The story below has been corrected.]
BURLINGTON, Vt. — The city council in Vermont’s largest city has voted to express its opposition to the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system at the Burlington International Airport, but it acknowledges F-35 fighter jets will begin arriving next month.
WCAX-TV reports the council voted unanimously on Monday in favor of a resolution that opposes the basing of any nuclear-capable weapon delivery system at the airport in South Burlington. The resolution also requests that Mayor Miro Weinberger, Gov. Phil Scott and Vermont’s congressional delegation tell the Department of Defense that nuclear weapons delivery systems are not welcomed in Burlington.
The first F-35 fighter jet that will be based at the Burlington International Airport has taken its first flight with the tail markings of the Vermont Air National Guard.
There are plans in the works for the F-35 Block 4 to go through certification on the B-61 Mod 12 nuclear gravity bomb sometime in the next decade.
The B-61-12 has completed final design review, setting up production for March of 2020, according to the National Nuclear Security Administration. It has a selectable yield between .3 and 50 kilotons.
The Vermont National Guard, the first Guard unit in the country to be assigned the F-35s, is due to take delivery of the first aircraft next month.
The F-35s are replacing the F-16s.