RAND Corp: F35 Can’t Turn, Can’t Climb, Can’t Run

This video associated with the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) just came to our attention. The RAND corp has refuted some of the claims attributed to it in the video. Whether they said the F35s would be “clubbed like baby seals” by Russian and Chinese fighter planes remains unclear. It is clear that they do did dub the F35 as “double inferior” and one of their slides proclaims the F35 “Can’t Turn, Can’t Climb, Can’t Run”. For an in depth analysis of the blowback from this video see http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/The-F-35s-Air-to-Air-Capability-Controversy-05089/

F35 JSF stealth fails again

June 21, 2016

The American company given a contract to provide the biggest weapons purchased in
Australia’s history has launched a public relations offensive. the controversial
F35 jet fighters have been played by big costs and big delays.

Open Meeting law violated regarding VTANG-called meeting

By Nicole Higgins DeSmet
June 30, 2016

Community members cried foul at being denied entrance to a publicly announced meeting last week.

Vaughn Altemus of Williston, who was not admitted to the Vermont National Guard meeting last Wednesday, wrote of his concerns to Free Press on Sunday following a story written by staff regarding South Burlington’s support of a sound and safety lawsuit against the U. S. Air Force.

“I continue to be unaware of any way I could have gained access to that meeting,” Altemus wrote.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 at Farnsborough

By Lars Schwetj

Lockheed Martin’s F-35B showcased both speed and maneuverability during a display at the Farnborough International Airshow, bolting across the skies before hovering above the crowd and doing a 360-degree rotation

[FULL ARTICLE]

MacKay laments not buying F-35s

By Stephanie Levitz
June 13th, 2016

Buying a fighter jet that’s different from the one used by Canada’s closest allies risks disconnecting the country from the global alliances it needs the most, a former Conservative defence minister said Monday.

Peter MacKay told a Senate committee that in his mind, there’s no question the Lockheed-Martin F-35 is the right plane for Canada — from defending the Far North to helping to confront the threat of terrorism around the world.

MacKay’s government tried to purchase that very plane but questions about its costs and capabilities forced a halt to the process — something MacKay said he regrets.

“I’m very much lamenting some of the to-ing and fro-ing that’s going on currently over the purchase of fighter aircraft,” he said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Noise information delayed

BY MORGAN TRUE
DEC. 10, 2015

City officials, the Vermont Air National Guard and the Burlington International Airport are making progress toward a joint noise mitigation commission that would include representatives from other affected communities.

Newly released noise exposure maps show more than 2,200 people fall into the area negatively impacted by excessive noise from the airport and the F-16 fighter jets now in use. The maps don’t account for louder F-35 fighter jets that are expected to be based at the airport in 2020.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Could network failure ground the F-35

By Lara Seligman
May 16, 2016

The F-35 joint program office and a top government watchdog are butting heads about a key question for the joint strike fighter: whether or not the fifth-generation plane can fly if disconnected from a key logistics system.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 bashing

March 21, 2016

In the budget proposal for fiscal 2017, the Air Force finally relented, and said it would keep the plane on board until 2022, though there are plans to retire large numbers of the aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

Welsh said he is in a difficult position, and being forced to argue for retiring the A-10 despite not wanting to do it. Yet the lack of funding and stress on airmen is forcing his hand, and the Air Force must shift resources over to newer fifth-generation planes, he told the committee.

McCain also criticized the budget proposal for the Air Force, saying that it places “an unnecessary and dangerous burden on the backs of our airmen.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Flyoff the A-10 versus the F-35

May 16, 2016

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is renewing her fight to keep the A-10 out of the boneyard. She wants to make retirement of the legacy attack plane contingent on a “flyoff” with the fifth-generation F-35.

McSally, a retired Air Force colonel with hundreds of hours flying the A-10 in Iraq and Afghanistan, spearheaded language in the House’s version of the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill that would tie the service’s A-10 retirement plan to a side-by-side comparisontest with the F-35.

“The official part of our proposal is to actually do a test, not just sit around drinking coffee saying: ‘This is what we think,’ ” McSally, R-Ariz., said in a recent interview.

“This is an important part of the official evaluation so that we can have a data-based, assessment-based discussion as to what to do next.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

One in three F-35 flights requires system reboot

By Lara Seligman
May 9, 2016

F-35 critics often point to the Pentagon’s decision to start building the fifth-generation fighter before design and testing is complete as the root of the program’s problems. Even now, as the Air Force prepares to declare its F-35A jets operational this year, so-called “concurrency” remains an obstacle.

These ongoing challenges were on full display at Edwards last week during a development test flight of an Air Force F-35A, when the jet’s team was on the ground troubleshooting for nearly two hours before the aircraft finally launched.

The problem, which revolves around a glitch in the next increment of F-35 software, is a recurring one that causes the plane’s systems to shut down and have to be rebooted – sometimes even mid-flight.

Officials say development test pilots here have trouble booting up their jets about once out of every three flights, but downplayed the problem, pointing out that the goal of test flights is indeed to test, find problems, and work to fix them.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon delays F-35 testing due to software glitch

May 25, 2016

Despite the ongoing risks that the Lockheed Martin fighter jets will crash to the earth, the Pentagon plans to spend an additional $16 billion on another batch of F-35s.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon finally acknowledged that the beleaguered F-35 fighter jet will not be ready for its final test phase until 2018 at the earliest, the latest in a series of setbacks for the expensive next-generation aircraft.

The last major test period before full-rate production, the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) examines whether an aircraft possesses the requisite combat specifics, and ensures that a jet can fly operational missions as intended.

Due to software problems in the F-35, Pentagon officials have postponed the test date for six months past the August 2017 target date, out of an abundance of concern that the jet will not be ready. This is the second major delay in flight-readiness testing, placing the fighter jet an entire year behind schedule.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Surprising similarities between EB-5 and F-35 programs by Eileen Andreoli

By Eileen Andreoli

May 8, 2016

With his recent reversal of his support of the EB-5 program, Sen. Patrick Leahy seemed to declare that he has realized the errors of his ways. His denouncement of the program is admission that the EB-5 project is corrupt and has harmed both the investors and everyday Vermonters.

Now is the time for Leahy to also acknowledge the same regarding his support of the F-35 basing in Vermont!

Similar to the political contributions that Leahy collected from the EB-5 investors, he has accepted thousands of dollars from Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the over-budget and poorly performing F-35 stealth bomber/fighter jet.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Burlington Free Press My Turn: F-35 decision followed Flint model

By James Marc Leas
June 16, 2016

The F-35 basing decision followed the Flint, Michigan, model – eyes closed to the foreseeable catastrophic consequences.

The Air Force Environmental Impact Study (EIS) says the F-35 is expected to have a crash rate like the F-22, which has a much higher crash rate than the F-16.

The number given in the EIS indicates that we can expect an F-35 crash in Burlington, on average, every 3 years.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Letter to South Burlington City Council regarding dangers of advanced composite materials

By Colonel Rosanne Greco, USAF (retired)
June 15, 2015

Dear Councilors,
Once again, I urge all of you to support joining the NEPA lawsuit, which is simply to get the Air Force to comply with federal law and provide the necessary information on the basing impacts of the F-35. Many people tried – unsuccessfully for years — to get the Air Force to provide this vital information. Legal action was the last recourse.

What we are seeking is not “nice-to-know” information. Literally, this could be life-saving data when we consider the very real possibility of an F-35 crash in our community. The noise of the F-35 will assuredly alter the lives of thousands of people in South Burlington, Burlington, Winooski, Williston and Colchester. But the consequences of an F-35 crash in any of these cities is unimaginable. As horrendous a thought as that may be, given the crash statistics for new military aircraft, the likelihood of that happening is quite real.

Last Monday, you heard from a gentlemen who told you there was no difference in crash consequences between the F-16 and the F-35…or commercial airliners…or even household items. He was wrong. Numerous scientific reports produced by the Air Force contradict his statements.
You may decide to trust him, and disregard the data produced by the Air Force which refutes his opinion. However, if you decide to go with one man’s opinion over the Air Force, then at least, do some research and verify what he said. The arms control admonition is appropriate here: “trust, but verify.”
Through Internet searches, we discovered three Air Force reports from experts in the field of composite materials. All three reports, despite the dates (1995, 2001, and 2015), come to the same conclusion on the dangers of advanced composites and advanced aerospace materials. Because many people are unlikely to actually read the reports, I’ve summarized them using direct quotes, with page references. I will gladly send this to you, if you wish.

And, keep in mind that the Air Force did not disclose these reports or their findings in the EIS or during the comment period! We found these reports on our own. Perhaps there is more information that we have not found.

This is the reason for legal action. The Air Force didn’t inform us of these impacts (and other impacts including noise mitigation measures). The Air Force did give us detailed information in the EIS about the F-35 impacts on migratory waterfowl, and what would happen if an F-35 flare ignited vegetation; but they never told us ANYTHING about what we could expect should an F-35 crash!

Military first responders on an Air Force Base in Guam were unprepared when an Air Force bomber with advanced aerospace composite materials (similar to the F-35) crashed in 2008. This mishap report (along with a link to a video of the crash) appears in the 2015 document. You may choose to believe that our first responders will be better prepared to handle the catastrophe associated with a F-35 crash than the military first responders. Perhaps you will be right. But, what if you are wrong?

Please make your decision based on the truth, the facts, and science; and not on speculation, personal opinions, or emotion. And please, don’t let politics guide your decision. Lives could be at risk. Think of the people. Thank you.

All three Air Force composite hazard reports are attached.

Letter to South Burlington City Council regarding NEPA lawsuit

By Colonel Rosanne Greco, USAF (retired)
June 11, 2016

Dear South Burlington City Councilors,

I would like to first express my gratitude to the council chair for being willing to address the serious issue of the safety and noise impacts of the F-35 basing in our city.

Secondly, I would like the council to know that I support South Burlington joining the NEPA lawsuit as a plaintiff.

Thirdly, I would like to address some of the concerns expressed by councilors, starting with informing/reminding the council of past city actions regarding seeking information from the Air Force on the impacts of the F-35 basing, particularly in light of Councilor Chittenden’s comment “Lawsuits are a last resort, not a first resort.” In light of the actions taken by municipalities and residents over the past four years, any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that every other method to acquire information on the negative impacts of this basing decision had been taken; and that filing a lawsuit was the last resort.

Specifically, on at least five occasions, local municipalities wrote to the Air Force requesting information, primarily related to noise, but also regarding other impacts of the basing. These formal letters came from the SB City Council, the SB School Board, and the SB Planning Commission. The City Council of Winooski twice requested this information from the Air Force. The Air Force did not respond to any of these requests.

Additionally, over the past four years, on numerous occasions, South Burlington and area residents from South Burlington, Burlington, Winooski, Williston, and Colchester requested assistance and intervention from our Congressional delegates, Senators Leahy and Sanders, and Representative Welch. Our elected representatives chose not to discuss the matter with any of those who were concerned with the negative consequences of the basing. I think it would be foolhardy to expect that, at this point in time, the Air Force, or our Congressional delegates would be forthcoming with information or assistance.

Regarding Councilor Chittenden’s comment that “The Vermont Air National Guard will be constricted in their permitted interactions with us on the important matters of first responder readiness & noise mitigation if we are in a lawsuit suing them on these two issues” the lawsuit is against theSecretary of the Air Force, not the Vermont Air National Guard. The lawsuit is about requiring the Air Force to comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rules. This information can only come from the United States Air Force.

This same answer applies to Councilor Nowak’s comments about getting information from the Guard. The VTANG is not obligated by law, as is the Air Force, to provide this information; and in all likelihood, does not even possess the information we need. However, Councilor Nowak’s comments about our first responders’ fine reputation in past incidents is pertinent to this discussion; as they are among those the lawsuit seeks to protect. We want to insure that they are able to continue their invaluable work by making sure they have the proper information, technology, equipment, protective garments, and training to combat a totally different type of danger than they have experienced in the past.

The material composition of the new F-35 is vastly different from the current F-16. The F-16 is made up of a tiny fraction of composite materials as compared with the F-35, which the Air Force categorizes as a “high-risk aircraft” because of the amount and percentage of composite materials in its airframe. Moreover, the F-16 has no chemical stealth coating. The entire F-35 is coated with these additional toxic chemicals.

Our lawsuit is to get the information on these dangers, so that our first responders are properly equipped and trained to protect nearby civilians, the military members involved, and to protect themselves. Councilor Nowak is suggesting that the city and its taxpayers ought to be the ones to expend personnel time and money researching the magnitude of the dangers and how to address them, and then paying for the needed training and equipment. She also favors spending taxpayer money to identify noise mitigation actions, and seems to trust that the FAA will allocate all the money needed for noise mitigation work. The Air Force is the one who will be causing these dangers and burdens. It is the Air Force’s responsibility, not the residents of South Burlington, to provide noise information and remedies.
Regarding putting a lawsuit decision to a city-wide vote, in my experience on the council that has never happened. SB has never asked the voters to decide whether the city initiates, or joins, or defends itself through lawsuits. Legal matters are one category that Vermont allows councilors to discuss in executive session.

Lastly, I appreciate councilors’ concerns as to the timing of this matter. But, new information only just became available to the council. To ignore that would be a dereliction of their duties as our elected representatives. Good governance requires acting on information in a timely manner. In this case, waiting to gather more information or input, means the council would miss their last opportunity to act in a meaningful manner. As we used to say in the military, ‘complete information coming too late is useless’.

Unfortunately, councilors do not have the luxury of only working on easy issues. Governing sometimes means taking on controversial topics. Once again, thank you for taking on this controversial, but essential issue. The future of our city and citizens depends on your actions on Monday.

Pilots, maintainer on F-35 pros & cons

By Lara Seligman

As the Air Force races to declare its F-35 jets operational before the end of the year, observers are still warning about schedule delays, a faulty logistics system, and software glitches.

But here at Edwards, the pilots, maintainers and technicians of the F-35 Integrated Test Force say they are happy with the plane — in fact, in many ways the joint strike fighter is a huge improvement over legacysystems.

[FULL ARTICLE]

A day in the life of an F-35 test pilot

By Lara Seligman

Here at the F-35 Integrated Test Force, pilots spend their days simulating real missions to prepare the jets to one day operate on the battlefield.

Air Force Times got a glimpse into the day-to-day life of an F-35 test pilot during a May 4 visit to this base north of Los Angeles. We followed Maj. Raven LeClair, assistant director of operations for the 461st Flight Test Squadron, as he zipped up his flight suit, climbed into the cockpit, taxied to the runway and finally took off into the clear, desert sky.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Additional basing considered for F-35

April 12, 2016

Air Force officials announced April 12 that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are candidate bases for the first Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II location.

The preferred and reasonable alternatives are expected to be selected in the fall and the F-35As are slated to begin arriving at the first Reserve-led F-35A location by the summer of 2023.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed Martin to get $3 billion from F-35 sale to Denmark

By Peter Levring

Denmark’s government plans to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets with Lockheed Martin planes in an order worth 20 billion kroner ($3 billion).

The minority government of Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, which still needs parliamentary approval before the order can be placed, wants to spend the money on 27 F-35 jets to replace old Lockheed Martin F-16s, Defense Minister Peter Christensen and Rasmussen said at a press conference in Copenhagen on Thursday. Boeing had also competed for the deal.

Denmark is revamping its fleet at a time when the “world security map has changed, producing new threats closer to Europe and Denmark,” Rasmussen said, highlighting Russia, the Middle East and Northern Africa as areas for concern.

[FULL ARTICLE]

America’s last fighter jet makers scramble to keep production alive


BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
MAY 12, 2016

In the southwest corner of a mile-long assembly plant here, an F-16 fighter jet is slowly coming to life. That plane, being built for the Iraqi Air Force, is far more sophisticated than the first Falcon to come off this production line more than 40 years ago, but it soon could become one of the last.

To the northeast by 575 miles, a similar scene is playing out inside another manufacturing facility. Here it’s the F-15 Eagle and F/A-18 Super Hornet, two more 1970s relics that have been redesigned and modernized heavily over the decades.

Without more orders by the U.S. military or its allies, production of these three planes, which gave America supremacy of the skies for more than four decades, will halt by 2020.

[FULL ARTICLE]

McCain looks to kill F-35 program

By Lara Seligman
May 16, 2016

In a surprise move, Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain is looking to eliminate the F-35 joint program office, currently the hub of the gargantuan operation that spans three US services and 12 nations.

The provision in his version of the defense policy bill, approved by the committee Thursday as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, would disband the joint program office (JPO) after the F-35 reaches full-rate production in April 2019

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 exceeds 50,000 flying hours

By Marina Malenic
February 12, 2016

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters operating at 12 international locations have accumulated more than 50,000 flight hours, the company announced on 10 February.

The flight hours fell into two main categories: operational flying hours, flown by 155 jets delivered to six different nations; and System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test hours, flown by 18 aircraft assigned to the Integrated Test Forces at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California, and Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, according to a 10 February press statement released by the company. Operational jets flew approximately 37,950 hours while SDD aircraft flew 12,050 hours, according to Lockheed Martin. More than one third of the programme’s flight hours were flown in 2015. Approximately 26,000 hours were flown by the F-35A, 18,000 hours by the F-35B, and 6,000 by the F-35C.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Canadians delay tricky F-35

By Sean Gallagher
June 7, 2016

While campaigning for office, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that his government would never buy the controversial, increasingly expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for his country’s air force. That declaration came despite the previous administration’s commitment to purchase 65 of those planes from Lockheed Martin. Now, however, it appears Trudeau’s government has found a way to fulfill his campaign promise and avoid any potential legal headaches that would result from Canada dropping its commitment with Lockheed. Trudeau’s solution? Buy more fighters from Boeing now, delay an F-35 decision ’til later.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Thunderbirds not flying in RI airshow because of recent crashes

By Cierra Putman
June 7, 2016

In the wake of the Thunderbirds crash in Colorado, the military announced the team will not perform at the Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show.

“Our entire organization wishes the team the best and looks forward to welcoming them back in the near future,” the Rhode Island National Guard said, in part, on Facebook.

The news comes after a pilot safely ejected but crashed his plane following a flyover in Colorado last Thursday.

That same day, the Navy’s Blue Angels also suffered a crash. The pilot didn’t survive.

[FULL ARTICLE]

VTANG to spend $25 million on taxiway

By Molly Walsh
May 31, 2016

The Vermont National Guard plans to spend more than $25 million to improve the taxiway that military jets use at Burlington International Airport. The project also will replace the apron where Vermont Air National Guard planes park and refuel.

The work is expected to begin this fall and continue through 2017 at the guard base, which is on land leased from Vermont’s largest airport. The city of Burlington owns the airport, located in South Burlington.

The construction will not include the main runway, which military planes share with commercial carriers coming in and out of BTV, according to airport and guard officials.

[FULL ARTICLE]

PFOA found in water from VTANG in South Burlington

By Jess Aloe
June 9, 2016

The possible carcinogen PFOA has been found in water samples from the Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington and the Pittsford Fire Academy, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced on Thursday.

The contaminated water is not being used for drinking supplies, Shumlin spokesman Scott Coriell said in a news release. Both sites have used firefighting foam, one source of perflurooctanoic acid and the related substance perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, otherwise known as PFOS.

Water sampled from a groundwater collection system at the National Guard based showed a PFOA concentration of 9,300 parts per trillion and a PFOS concentration of 38,000 parts per trillion.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Suspected carcinogens in water from VTANG

By Howard Weiss-Tisman
June 9, 2016

The state says that the chemical PFOA has been detected for the first time outside of Bennington County. Gov. Peter Shumlin says PFOA and PFOS, which is also a suspected carcinogen, were found in groundwater on the Vermont Air National Guard base in South Burlington.

PFOA is a suspected cancer causing chemical that’s contaminated more than 200 wells in southwestern Vermont.

[FULL ARTICLE]

VTANG adds an active duty squadron (January 2016)

January 1, 2016

The Vermont Air National Guard has lost an active-duty Air Force detachment and gained a squadron this January as part of the Total Force Integration (TFI) when Maj. Daniel McGuire assumed command of the 315th Fighter Squadron.

Although the VTANG has had active-duty members working there for about 10 years as a detachment, it is now one of the first few Guard bases to house an active-duty squadron. The inverse, Guard components at active-duty bases, has become fairly common.

Within the program’s concept, the Guard, Reserve and active-duty play equal parts in the Air Force mission of air and space superiority with a global presence ready day and night. Interoperability is essential, and that means consistent training with one another.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed F-35 service life extended to 2070

March 25, 2016
By James Drew

The projected life of the F-35 Lightning II has been extended by six years to 2070 after the US military services tweaked the number of flight hours their fleets should log before retirement.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Program Gets 6-year service life extension (Lt Gen Bogdan)

By Jane Edwards

March 28, 2016

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, chief of the F-35 joint program office, has said the Air Force, Marine Corps and the Navy have decided to extend the service life of the Joint Strike Fighter fleet from 2064 to 2070, Defense News reported Friday.

Lara Seligman writes Bogdan told reporters Thursday that the Defense Department‘s 2015 Selected Acquisition Report indicates a $45 billion increase in operating and support costs as a result of the six-year extension to the program’s operational life.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Update on the F-35


March 23, 2016
Committee on Armed Services Hearing: Update on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.
Location: 2118 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Update on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program and the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request
Subcommittees:
Tactical Air and Land Forces (114th Congress)

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-16 crashes

By Oriana Pawlyk and Phillip Swarts
June 2, 2016

The F-16, assigned to the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, crashed around 1 p.m. and Turner was recovered by local first responders, said Master Sgt. Chrissy Best, a Thunderbirds spokeswoman. Turner ejected south of the Colorado Springs airport.

The crash posed no hazard to the public, Best said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Thunderbirds’ website says Turner has logged over 1,200 flight hours as an Air Force pilot, with more than 270 combat hours over Libya and Iraq.

When asked whether the pilot steered the aircraft towards the empty field deliberately, Best said, “Any time a pilot ejects we always try to go down into an unpopulated area.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Decades later, sickness among airmen

By Dave Philipps
June 19, 2016

It was one of the biggest nuclear accidents in history, and the United States wanted it cleaned up quickly and quietly. But if the men getting onto buses were told anything about the Air Force’s plan for them to clean up spilled radioactive material, it was usually, “Don’t worry.”

“There was no talk about radiation or plutonium or anything else,” said Frank B. Thompson, a then 22-year-old trombone player who spent days searching contaminated fields without protective equipment or even a change of clothes. “They told us it was safe, and we were dumb enough, I guess, to believe them.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Will Fly Despite Auditor’s Fleet-Grounding Warning

By Patrick Tucker
April 17, 2016

Pentagon officials say the plane can fly without the aircraft’s enormously complex diagnostics system.

Problems with the Joint Strike Fighter’s logistics software will not keep the F-35 fleet from flying, the Pentagon says, contrary to a new Government Accountability Office, or GAO, report that hinted at a possible grounding.

In the April 14 report, GAO officials say problems with one of the jet fighter’s software suites are so severe that “it could take the entire F-35 fleet offline” if there was a failure, in part because there’s no backup to the system.

[FULL ARTICLE]

DOD F-35 program office, breaking the law

By Eric Palmer
April 18, 2016

The U.S. Government Account Office has released two reports on the troubled F-35 program.

One on the program and “new capabilities”. Another, on the F-35s faulty total logistics management system called ALIS.

The one on ALIS has no surprises. The problems have been ongoing for years and, it was years ago that fixes were promised.

The other report? Billions needed to work on Block 4 of the F-35. The problem with this is it is blue-sky marketing. The F-35 program is still in DOD procurement milestone B. That is, after all these years: early development. The primary goal of the F-35 program currently in its system design and demonstration (SDD) stage is to show a fully functional Block 3 capability. Key word: ‘demonstration.’

[FULL ARTICLE]

Flying Public Relations Blitz? Pentagon Finds Only Good Use for F-35

March 26, 2016

With its reputation effectively flown through the mud, the F-35 will seek public approval by performing alongside WWII fighters in an air show tour.

With a price tag of over $1 trillion, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has been riddled with problems that include everything from cybersecurity issues to basic flight capabilities.

“[The F-35] has already been in development for more than twenty years,” reads a report conducted by the non-profit Project on Government Oversight. “The plane is still years away from being capable of providing any real contribution to the [US] national defense if, in fact, it ever will be.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

All the ways the F-35 is screwed up, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester

By Dan Lamothe
February 4, 2016

The Pentagon’s top weapons tester has condemned aspects of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in a new report, raising questions about the $1.5-trillion effort’s ability to meet its already slipped production schedule, synthesize information on the battlefield and keep aircraft available to fly.

The 82-page report was distributed to Congress last month, and released publicly this week. It was completed by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation. He reports directly to Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, and carries out independent assessments for both Carter and members of Congress.

The report raises serious questions about whether the Pentagon should initiate a three-year “block buy” of up to 450 fighter jets beginning in 2018, something that was floated last year in the Defense Department as a way to save money. Doing so would drive down the cost of each single-seat, single engine aircraft and increase fielding of the jet to both the U.S. military and international partners like Australia and Britain, defense officials said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

What it’s really like to fly the F-35

By Ian Greenhalgh
April 19, 2016

You’ve heard what the critics have to say, now let’s see what the pilots think

You must have heard about the F-35 debacle by now, a sad tale of huge cost overruns and an aircraft that has been called ‘the worst thing the USA ever procured’ by some commentators.

Aside from the obvious corruption involved in the F-35’s troubled development (is anything involving John McCain ever anything other than corrupt) and the resultant incredible sums of money spent on the project, there is the very real danger that the USA mind find itself armed with an aircraft that simply doesn’t work.

Whether it’s the gun that won’t fire or the ejector seat that is lethal to pilots that aren’t overweight, the tales of woe are endless. Even before the aircraft had entered service the jokes were well known:

How many F-35s does it take to change a lightbulb?

Three: One to change the criteria of changing a lightbulb, the second to undergo maintenance, and the third to tell the press the lightbulb has been changed.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 critical software not all that critical

By Dan Grazier
April 20, 2016

Last summer, F-35 program officer Lt. Gen. Bogdan said the F-35’s logistics systemwas “the brains and blood of operating this weapons system.” Despite many fixes, the aircraft’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is so flawed that government auditors believe the computer system may not be deployable. These problems may alsodelay the Air Force’s declaration of Initial Operational Capability.  And now, in a surprising twist, General Bogdan is saying ALIS is not really critical after all, insisting the F-35 can fly without it for 30 days.

F-35 supporters enjoy telling people how the plane is a “flying computer,” as if that alone makes it worth the hundreds of billions of dollars spent so far. Lockheed Martin goes one step farther, calling it a “supercomputer” in its own promotional materials.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon waste hampers military readiness: Citizen-Times Letter to the Editor

By R. Michael Erwin, PhD, Weaverville
February 5, 2016

I read retired Col. Ric Hunter’s guest column (Jan. 31 AC-T) concerning the outlook for military readiness in an era where rapid response is needed in response to rogue forces. He lists a number of serious deficiencies within the Air Force resulting largely from sequestration. Although the Air Force has suffered budget reductions, the same is true for most federal agencies. It is difficult to be sympathetic to the Pentagon when the budget for the military (including Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security) consumes about 70 percent of our annual budget.

[FULL ARTICLE]

The Truth about the F-35

By Eileen Andreoli
Apr. 18, 2016

This commentary is by a member of SaveOurSkiesVT.org.

In recent stories about the accelerated pace for the basing in Vermont of the under-tested and mechanically flawed F-35s, Gov. Peter Shumlin states, “This initiative will benefit the Vermont National Guard, create jobs, and spur economic development in Chittenden County and surrounding areas.”

Shumlin has repeated these same lies for the last three years. When challenged in 2013 to provide the source for his comments that the F-35s would create jobs, his reply was: “The specific quote you referenced should have referred to the more than one thousand direct and indirect jobs attributable to the air base that I strongly believe will be retained if we are chosen for F-35 basing.”

Retaining jobs does not equal creating jobs! Even after he was challenged on these falsehoods, and despite his excuse that he meant to say “retained” jobs instead of creating them, he is back at it again, repeating the same lies. His continued misrepresentation of the facts must be exposed for the outright lies they are.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 is a Feminist Issue

By Rosanne M. Greco
April 15, 2016

I am a feminist. For over 40 years, I have supported feminist ideals. Four years ago, I started learning about the implications of the proposal to base the military’s newest fighter-bomber, the F-35, at the Vermont Air National Guard Station in South Burlington. The more I researched, the more I began to wonder: Is the F-35 a feminist issue?

Feminists work to achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. The F-35 will negatively affect the economic, personal, and social rights of women. Specifically, Vermont women (and their children) are disproportionally the ones who will be affected by the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington airport.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Deficiencies (Press Republican Letter to the Editor)

By Joe DeMarco
Feb 18, 2016

F-35 deficiencies

This is information about the F-35 that should interest everyone.

The contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin on Oct. 26, 2001 (15 years ago) for this $1.4 trillion program — yes, $1.4 trillion for one aircraft.

After many years of development and testing, this aircraft has serious maintenance and reliability problems. Testing found that the Marine Corps did not and could not show that its variant “was operationally effective or suitable for use in any type of limited combat operation or that it was ready for real world operational deployment.”

Combat requires a readiness rate of 80 percent, but during demonstrations, the F-35 struggled to maintain a 50 percent readiness level.

[FULL ARTICLE]

 

Lockheed Seeks to Save Troubled F-35 With Exaggerated Job Claims

By William Hartung
March 8, 2016

It’s a time-tested ploy. When a weapons system can’t be justified based on cost, capabilities, and need, the manufacturer touts how many jobs the program will create. So it is with Lockheed Martin and its troubled F-35 combat aircraft.

The company’s latest official claim for F-35 jobs is that it will create full-time employment for 133,000 workers nationwide. But an analysis I did two years ago demonstrates that the company is claiming more than twice as many jobs as the program is actually likely to create. To add insult to injury, the company also asserts that many more states will benefit from the program than is actually the case.

The F-35 jobs issue arose again this week when Cleveland.com ran a piece on the F-35’s myriad problems, published well in advance of the plane’s scheduled appearance at the Cleveland Air Show on Labor Day week-end. Among the long list of problems listed in the article are the steep increase in unit costs for the aircraft, which have nearly doubled since the program’s inception; fundamental issues like poor software and engine performance; difficulty operating in bad weather; and problems with the plane’s pilot ejection seat.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon Report: The F-35 Is Still a Mess

By Clay Dillow
March 10, 2016

The Air Force wants to declare the problem-prone fighter ready for combat later this year.

The U.S. Air Force plans to declare its first batch of Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II fighter jets ready for initial combat duties as early as August of this year. But a scathing new report from the Pentagon office in charge of testing and evaluating U.S. military weapons systems suggests that America’s fifth-generation, all-purpose combat jet is anything but ready for combat.

The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) report cites a myriad of problems with the F-35, spanning design issues that negatively impact its aerodynamics in flight to countless software bugs buried in the F-35’s eight million lines of code. (The 24 million lines of code running the F-35’s maintenance and logistics software on the ground? Also buggy.)

[FULL ARTICLE]

Eielson F-35 not yet funded; has Pentagon support

By Sam Friedman
April 11, 2016

Alaska’s new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters haven’t been funded yet, but they have a good chance of making it through Congress, according to a military adviser for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Last week, the Air Force announced it plans to station 54 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Eielson Air Force Base starting in 2020. But first they have to be built at Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Fort Worth, Texas plant and funded by Congress.

The project has good prospects in Congress because senior Department of Defense leaders support the program, said Nathan Bergerbest, a senior adviser to Murkowski.

“What DoD (Department of Defense) wants is really, really, really important. It is not typical that anybody (in Congress) would take DoD’s top priority and say ‘We don’t believe you,’” he said. “You’re not going to see a reduction in the F-35 program.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Problems

By Stephen Koff
March 08, 2016

Northeast Ohioans will glimpse the future of aerial warfare when a military fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning, flies at the Cleveland National Air Show on Labor Day weekend.

They might also get a glimpse at scandal, although the Pentagon and the plane’s developer, Lockheed Martin, say the aircraft’s troublesome days are behind it.

Amid the excitement of the end-of-summer Cleveland air show are these facts, controversies and claims about the advanced aircraft – facts and claims directly affecting Ohioans beyond the holiday weekend’s public relations display.

Why the F-35 is being built

The F-35 is also called the Joint Strike Fighter, because versions are not only being built for the Air Force, Navy and Marines but also for Great Britain and other allies. The most expensive weapons system ever built, about 500 of the aircraft have been completed so far in the program’s 14 years of existence, although they have not yet been tested in combat conditions.

The Pentagon ultimately wants 2,457 of the aircraft, because the F-35 is supposed to replace a number of earlier-era fighter models – and because China and Russia are building their air capabilities.

The program is way over budget

The F-35 program cost is now nearly $400 billion. That’s $163 billion more than anticipated, a price so high that, as Newsweek put it, industry wags call it “the plane that ate the Pentagon.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

AF names candidate bases, criteria for choosing next F-35A sites

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
April 12, 2016

Air Force officials announced April 12 that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are candidate bases for the first Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II location.

The preferred and reasonable alternatives are expected to be selected in the fall and the F-35As are slated to begin arriving at the first Reserve-led F-35A location by the summer of 2023.

The Air Force also released basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for two Air National Guard squadrons, which are planned to receive their first aircraft in the summer of 2022.

“The Air Force is committed to a deliberate and open process to address F-35 basing,” said Jennifer A. Miller, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations. “As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect.”

The basing criteria for the Air National Guard bases include mission requirements (weather, airspace and training range availability), capacity (sufficient hanger and ramp space, and facility considerations), environmental requirements, and cost factors.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Air Force says combat-ready F-35 on track for 2016

By Andrea Shalal
April 13, 2016

The U.S. Air Force said on Wednesday said it still expected to declare an initial squadron of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets ready for combat between August and December, despite delays in the jets’ computer-based logistics system.

The four-star generals who run Air Combat Command and Air Force Materiel Command reviewed flight milestones and other aspects of the $379 billion F-35 program at Hill Air Force Base in Utah last week. The Pentagon’s F-35 program office, Lockheed, pilots and maintenance specialists also took part.

Colonel Tad Sholtis, spokesman for Air Combat Command, said the conference affirmed that the jet’s complex Autonomic Logistics Information System was behind schedule.

[FULL ARTICLE]

 

Dutch F-35 Being Primed For Noise Evaluations

By Tony Osborne
April 15, 2016

Dutch deployment will test whether use of the F-35 will bother local communities

While the first eastbound transatlantic crossing of a Dutch F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in May will be a major coup for the program as a whole, the visit will be more about building community relations.  The Netherlands defense ministry wants to prove the F-35 will be a good neighbor to the communities surrounding the two air bases that will host the fighter from 2019, Volkel and Leeuwarden.

Those living near Volkel, an air station between the cities of Nijmegen and Eindhoven, and Leeuwarden, in the very north of the country, have long been familiar with the noise levels produced by the F-16 Fighting Falcon. But the F-35 is an unknown quantity.

It has already been established that the JSF produces higher noise levels than the F100 engines of the F-16A/Bs currently in operation. But noise-management studies released by the F-35 Joint Program Office state F-35As produce more noise in some configurations than even later F-16 models fitted with the more powerful F100-200/220.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Glitch could ground F-35

By Tyler Dumont
April 25,2016

The F-35 is called the most ambitious and expensive weapon system in the Department of Defense’s history, costing hundreds of billions.

Eighteen of the planes are set to land in Vermont in just three years.

At the core of the F-35 is a software system known as ALIS, essentially, the aircraft’s brain and just as important as the engine and airframe.

“Quite simply, if you don’t have a functioning ALIS, you really don’t have an F-35, the way it’s designed,” said Cary Russell, the director of defense capabilities and management with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The Autonomic Logistics Information Systems monitors almost everything, from engine diagnostics to navigation and target data coming from servers that are not on board.

Now, a report from a federal watchdog group says there’s a chance the connection to those external servers could fail, with no backup.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon to test F-35 against A-10

By Travis J. Tritten
April 26, 2016

A showdown might soon settle one of the U.S. military’s biggest air power controversies.

The high-tech and expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will face off in upcoming testing with the Air Force’s aging close-air-support stalwart, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the director of the Defense Department operational test and evaluation office said Tuesday.

The battlefield comparison “makes common sense” and will pit the two airframes against each other in a variety of war scenarios this year, Michael Gilmore said during Senate testimony.

[FULL ARTICLE]

McCain: F-35 is both a scandal and a tragedy

By Ryan Browne
April 27, 2016

Sen. John McCain slammed the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s troubled history Tuesday, saying it “has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to cost, schedule and performance.”

The development of the Joint Strike Fighter, a fifth-generation stealth jet, has been beset by spiraling costs and schedule delays. The program’s price tag is nearly $400 billion for 2,457 planes — almost twice the initial estimate.

GAO report cites continued need for F-35 oversight

Apr 26, 2016

Development of New Capabilities Requires Continued Oversight

What GAO Found

Although the estimated F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) program acquisition costs have decreased since 2014, the program continues to face significant affordability challenges. The Department of Defense (DOD) plans to begin increasing production and expects to spend more than $14 billion annually for nearly a decade on procurement of F-35 aircraft. Currently, the program has around 20 percent of development testing remaining, including complex mission systems software testing, which will be challenging. At the same time, the contractors that build the F-35 airframes and engines continue to report improved manufacturing efficiency and supply chain performance.

DOD plans to manage F-35 modernization as part of the existing program baseline and is exploring the use of a single contract to procure multiple lots of future aircraft. Both courses of action have oversight implications. DOD has begun planning and funding significant new development work to add to the F-35’s capabilities. Known as Block 4, the funding needed for this effort is projected to be nearly $3 billion over the next 6 years (see figure below), which would qualify it as a major defense acquisition program in its own right.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Fails Testing

By Clay Dillow
April 28, 2016

Software glitches continue to dog the nation’s newest fighter jet.

Five of six Air Force F-35 fighter jets were unable to take off during a recent exercise due to software bugs that continue to hamstring the world’s most sophisticated—and most expensive—warplane.

During a mock deployment at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, just one of the $100 million Lockheed Martin LMT 0.63% F-35s was able to boot its software successfully and get itself airborne during an exercise designed to test the readiness of the F-35, FlightGlobal reports. Nonetheless, the Air Force plans to declare its F-35s combat-ready later this year.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Military Admits Billion-Dollar War Toy F-35 Is F**ked

By David Axe
March 17, 2016

Officials are finally admitting the F-35 fighter has turned into a nightmare—but it’s too late to stop the $400 billion program now.

Way back in the early 2000s, the U.S. military had a dream. To develop a new “universal” jet fighter that could do, well, pretty much everything that the military asks its different fighters to do.

But the dream of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter turned into a nightmare. The program is six years behind schedule and tens of billions of dollars over budget. And now, 16 years after the JSF prototypes took off for their first flights, top officials are finally owning up to the trauma the $400 billion fighter program has inflicted on America’s finances and war readiness.

In a remarkable period, beginning in February and lasting several weeks, senior officers and high-ranking bureaucrats finally publicly copped to the warplane program’s fundamental failures.

[FULL ARTICLE]

U.S. military officials consider alternatives if troubled F-35 program can’t move forward

March 23, 2016

U.S. military officials reportedly are considering alternatives that include restarting the F-22 advanced tactical fighter line or developing advanced versions of the F-15 or F/A-18 combat aircraft if the F-35 joint strike fighter program fails. The National Interest reports.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 engines have recurring flaws

By Anthony Capaccio
March 31, 2016

United Technologies Corp.’s performance building engines for the F-35 fighter has been beset by “recurring manufacturing quality issues,” according to the Defense Department’s annual report on its costliest weapons program.

The contractor’s Pratt & Whitney military aircraft unit met the goal for delivering engines last year, but quality deficiencies in “turbine blades and electronic control systems resulted in maintenance activity to remove suspect hardware from the operational fleet,” according to the latest Selected Acquisition Report sent to Congress and obtained by Bloomberg News.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 is still a shocking disaster

By Charles P. Pierce
March 30, 2016

It’s been a while since we checked in with the F-35 Flying Swiss Army Knife, the airplane that ate the federal budget. Let’s see if they’ve gotten all the bugs out of the system yet.

Nope.

“While Pratt & Whitney has implemented a number of design changes that have resulted in significant reliability improvements, the F-35A and F-35B engines are still at about 55 percent and 63 percent, respectively, of where the program expected them to be at this point,” said the report by the Government Accountability Office. The F-35A is the Air Force version of the plane, and the F-35B is the Marine Corps version, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. There is also an F-35C Navy version designed for carrier operations.

[FULL ARTICLE]

AF gets more time to respond to lawsuit in Arizona

March 23, 2016

The Air Force has been given an extra month, until late April, to respond to a federal lawsuit alleging that the service failed to adequately study the environmental effects of expanding a military training program at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Three Tucson residents filed the lawsuit Jan. 22, challenging the Air Force’s finding last year that the expansion of its Total Force Training program would create ‘no significant impact’ and asking the court to order a detailed environmental impact statement.

The Air Force said it needed more time to file a detailed response.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Winooski seeks $5,000 for F-35 lawsuit

By Elizabeth Murray
March 28, 2016

The Winooski City Council unanimously approved spending $5,000 more on a lawsuit the city entered last year regarding the U.S. Air Force’s environmental impact statement regarding F-35 fighter jets.

The additional money was an agenda item at Monday’s council meeting at Winooski City Hall.

The City Council initially approved spending $7,500 on the lawsuit when the city decided to enter the case in April 2015. The council said at the time that if additional money were needed, a motion would come back before the council for public discussion and a vote.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 opposition respects the Guard

By James Marc Leas
March 31, 2016

Supporting our Vermont Air National Guard is one thing. Supporting particular items of equipment is another.

Supporting our Green Mountain Boys does not require supporting the Air Force decision to base F-35 warplanes at the airport in South Burlington.

If our Guardsmen were lousy at their jobs, poor learners, lackadaisical, unprofessional and could only do one thing right, all right, to support them we might have to accept them doing just that one thing, whatever it is.

But, as is indeed the case, our Green Mountain Boys are “the best of the best.” Their skills and achievements mean they will do very well no matter what equipment or mission they are given.

Unlike Air Force bases immediately adjacent to wide open spaces and/or large bodies of water, the airport in South Burlington is immediately surrounded by thousands of homes and tens of thousands of people. Does anyone seriously believe the best of the best will be disbanded if they obtain a mission compatible with their location in the most densely populated part of Vermont?

[FULL ARTICLE]

VTANG has a future without the F-35

By Roger Bourassa
March 31, 2016

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Roger Bourassa, of Colchester, who served in the Marines and is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. He flew in the F-89, the C-97, and the F-101 and flew all over the world including several missions to Vietnam.

recent letter to a South Burlington newspaper from a retired Air Force colonel who claims to be an expert on base closings predicts the worst for the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) if the F-35A takes a pass on this first round of basing. He predicts a closing of the Guard and a local economic recession while offering nothing to support these claims.

A lawsuit against the secretary of the Air Force is on the docket for later this spring in the Federal District Court in Rutland concerning this issue. The decision may result in a reconsideration by the Air Force on basing the F-35 at VTANG.

The primary arguments used by supporters of the F-35A basing are that opponents are either, 1) unpatriotic and anti-military and, 2) without the F-35A, VTANG would be without a mission. The first argument is plain nonsense. There are many veterans numbered among the opponents to the basing of the F-35A, many of whom have served their country with honor with some serving during wartime, including Vietnam.

The second argument is without evidence and, to the contrary, is challenged by official Air Force statements. The Air Force Revised Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIS) states “… if there is no F-35A operational bed-down at Burlington the current mission would continue” (RDEIS Page PA-47). No public official (military, government, or politician) has EVER said the base will close if the F-35A is not based here.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Airplane Noise

By John Vogel
March 29, 2016

Recently I’ve been spending time in the Burlington area and wondering why we have to put up with the ear splitting noise of military planes as they take off and land. The good news is that they’re phasing out the F-16s. The bad news is they’ll be replacing them with F-35s.

In 1951 when the Air National Guard moved to Burlington, it was probably a sensible decision. But 65 years later, the community has changed and so have the planes.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Group vows to fight F-35 delivery

By Keele Smith
April 6, 2016

F-35 jets expected to arrive in Burlington in 2019f16

Air Force officials announced Monday that the first F-35 fighter jets are expected to arrive in Vermont in fall of 2019. But those fighting to keep them from coming here are not giving up hope.

“There are no benefits to the F-35 coming here. All negatives. One more risky and dangerous than another,” F-35 opponent Rosanne Greco said.

Greco has done her homework when it comes to bringing F-35s to Vermont.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Marines to consider vertical landing of F-35 at UK airshow

By Lara Seligman
March 31, 2016

The US Marine Corps is looking into the possibility of demonstrating an F-35B vertical landing during a major international air show in the United Kingdom this summer.

The Marine Corps F-35Bs, an aircraft unique in its ability to takeoff and land at short distances with no runway, will open the Royal International Air Tattoo and Farnborough air shows in July, according to Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns. The two jets will join a pair of Air Force F-35As at the UK shows, Defense News reported in January.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon wants autonomous jets to fly in combat

By Clay Dillow / Fortune
March 31, 2016

The pilotless aircraft could take to the skies before driverless vehicles hit the road

The U.S. Air Force Research Lab is moving ahead with an initiative to turn aging F-16 fighter jets into unmanned, autonomous combat aircraft. The pilotless planes will fly alongside the newer aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Speaking at a forum in Washington, Wednesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said he expects to see the autonomous aircraft plying the skies alongside manned jets before driverless vehicles enter service on the ground. Work spoke specifically about U.S. Air Force efforts to create autonomous wingmen for its fighter pilots that gave new life to older planes imbued with autonomous piloting technologies and teamed with next-generation aircraft.

“You take an F-16 and make it totally unmanned,” Work said. “The F-16 is a fourth-generation fighter, and pair it with an F-35, a fifth-generation battle network node, and have those two operating together.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Bogdan, GAO at odds over F-35 upgrades

By Lara Seligman
March 24, 2016

The chief of the F-35 joint program office (JPO) is at odds with a prominent government watchdog over how to manage a follow-on modernization effort for the fifth-generation fighter jet.

Michael Sullivan of the Government Accountability Office called on the Pentagon to establish a standalone acquisition program for the Block 4 modernization effort, which is projected to cost $3 billion over the next six years. If the JPO continues to manage Block 4 as part of the existing F-35 program rather than establishing a separate business case and acquisition baseline, it will be more difficult for Congress to keep the program office accountable for achieving cost, schedule and performance requirements, he argued.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 to fly until 2070 or longer

By Lara Seligman
March 25, 2016

The F-35 joint strike fighter will fly until 2070, reflecting a decision by the US armed services to extend the operational life of the fleet by six years.

All three services that operate the F-35 — the US Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps — increased the total flight hours for the fleet by 1.6 million, F-35 Joint Program Office Chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told reporters March 24 at the Pentagon. Of the total, the Air Force added 1.3 million flight hours, while the Navy added 300,000 flight hours, according to the JPO.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Air Force to deliver F-35 to Burlington ahead of schedule

By Brad Evans
April 4, 2016

Air Force officials announced Monday the Burlington Air Guard will receive its first F-35A aircraft in the fall of 2019.

The Air Force said the aircraft will be used by the Vermont Air National Guard to grow its active-duty maintenance force.

“The Air Force is experiencing a shortage of experienced, active-duty fighter aircraft maintainers,” Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support Lt. Gen John B. Cooper said. “Delivering F-35s to an Air National Guard base before standing up a new active duty unit will allow us to take advantage of Burlington’s experienced fighter aircraft maintenance force as we transition from legacy aircraft to the F-35A.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 still failing to impress

By: Dan Grazier & Mandy Smithberger
March 7, 2016

The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) recently released a scathing assessment of the F-35 program as part of his annual report. Buried inside 48 pages of highly technical language is a gripping story of mismanagement, delayed tests, serious safety issues, a software nightmare, and maintenance problems crippling half the fleet at any given time.

The report makes clear just how far the F-35 program still has to go in the development process. Some of the technical challenges facing the program will take years to correct, and as a result, the F-35’s operationally demonstrated suitability for combat will not be known until 2022 at the earliest.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Congress may restore purchase of F-35

March 21, 2016

Top Air Force acquisitions personnel who went to Capitol Hill on March 8 seemed to find friendly support from Congress for restoring cut F-35 buys to the fiscal year 2017 budget.

The service had delayed purchasing five F-35 Lightning IIs that were set for 2017 – a move the service said would save close to $700 million – and dropping the Air Force’s buy for the year from 48 aircraft down to 43.

Yet despite hammering the Air Force on the A-10 retirement, RD-180 Russian- made rocket engines, and B-21 bomber contract, lawmakers seemed inclined to agree with top brass that delaying F-35 purchases could hurt national security readiness.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 radar software fails in the air

By Richard Chirgwin
March 8, 2016

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has run into yet another software bug, according to a report in IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

The glitch is in the software that operates the fighter’s radar. During flight, Jane’s reckons, the radar software becomes unstable.

The report quotes US Air Force Major General Jeffrey Harrigian as saying “What would happen is [pilots would] get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail – something that would force us to restart the radar”.

He said the problem was discovered in 2015, and that Lockheed-Martin is now running a fix through its test labs, with a patch due this month.

The USAF believes the glitch won’t get in the way of it reaching “initial operational capability” for the F-35 between August and December this year.

The F-35’s software has been raised again in Australia courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Background Briefing program over the weekend.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 remains plagued by deficiencies

By Jim W. Dean
Feb. 5, 2016

[ Jim Dean’s Note: Yes, I know this is an old story, but with an important new twist, in that the continued deficiencies of the F-35 are detailed by the Pentagon’s own testing expert. This is no anti-war, America haters bashing the program. For the program to be stopped from more billions being wasted on this disaster, it will take a coalition of inside and outside people to do it.

And work needs to get started, scrapping what we have, and frankly trying to copy what the Russian have, if they can do it — a modular build where upgrades, especially hardware, can be added later without a ground-up rebuild, which the defense contractors prefer, as it is hugely more expensiveJim W. Dean ]

_____________

– First published  …  February 05,  2016 –

The US Defense Department has warned that the highly advanced F-35 fighter jet remains plagued by dangerous problems that will further complicate the most expensive weapons project in history.

The report, which was prepared by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation, raises serious questions about whether the US military should risk committing itself to buying billions of dollars of the F-35s before they have demonstrated they are fit for combat.

The fifth-generation stealth warplanes, which are being built in three different versions by Lockheed Martin Corp, will form the backbone of the us military’s future fighter fleet.

In the latest blow to the program, engineers uncovered numerous technical problems during extensive testing of the newest versions of the F-35, the Pentagon report found, adding to a list of issues including software bugs, technical glitches and cost overruns.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 still failing to impress

By Dan Grazier & Mandy Smithberger
March 7, 2016

The Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) recently released a scathing assessment of the F-35 program as part of his annual report. Buried inside 48 pages of highly technical language is a gripping story of mismanagement, delayed tests, serious safety issues, a software nightmare, and maintenance problems crippling half the fleet at any given time.

The report makes clear just how far the F-35 program still has to go in the development process. Some of the technical challenges facing the program will take yea
rs to correct, and as a result, the F-35’s operationally demonstrated suitability for combat will not be known until 2022 at the earliest. While rumors that the program office would ask for a block buy of nearly 500 aircraft in the FY 2017 budget proposal did not pan out, officials have indicated they may make such a request next year. The DOT&E report clearly shows any such block commitments before 2022 are premature.

[FULL ARTICLE]

US Voters Favor Cutting Carrier, F-35, Overall Defense Spending

By Andrew W. Clevenger
March 8, 2016

A majority of Americans favor cutting the US defense budget in five out of seven key areas, including nuclear weapons and missile defense, according to a new University of Maryland survey released March 9.

Nationally, a majority supports modest budget cuts to air power ($2 billion), ground forces ($4 billion), naval forces ($2 billion), nuclear weapons ($3 billion) and missile defense ($1 billion). No majority emerged for either cutting or increasing the budgets of the Marine Corps or Special Ops forces.

In total, a majority of respondents would cut the defense budget by $12 billion. When broken down by party, a majority of Republican respondents would leave the defense budget as is, while the majority of Democrats would cut it by $36 billion (including $11 billion cuts to both air power and ground forces), a larger cut than the $20 billion cut supported by a majority of Independents.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Future operations and opposition to the F-35 at Davis-Monthan AFB

By Emily Bregel
March 10, 2016

As Davis-Monthan Air Force Base faces dual threats of cuts to its primary mission – its fleet of A-10 close-air support jets – and the specter of base closures nationally, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said its’future is bright.’

‘I couldn’t be more impressed with what I have seen so far,’ she told local reporterson Wednesday, during her first visit to D-M. ‘This is a very, very busy base.’

James praised the A-10 mission here and said proposals to retire the fleet nationally were rooted in budget constraints. She pointed to D-M’s new drone unit, which remotely flies MQ-1 Predator drones, and nearby training areas as platforms for expansion.

‘I think there’s room for growth, in terms of missions’ at D-M, she said.

James’ whirlwind visit to Tucson comes as D-M supporters tout a new survey showing strong local support for the base and for the controversial prospect of high-decibel F-35s flying more frequently in Southern Arizona.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 for Canada; maybe yes, maybe no

By Defense Industry Daily staff
March 8,2016

Canada’s participation in the F-35 program continues to be shrouded in confusion. The government plans to pay an installment external link of $32.9 million in May to continue its involvement in procuring the Joint Strike Fighter. This runs contrary to promises made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to abandon the project during the run-up to the federal election in October. Trudeau had pledged that a cheaper alternative could be found as a replacement to the country’s aging CF-18 fighters, however, the F-35 has been allowed to participate in the latest replacement competition. The payment will ensure Canada’s place in the program until September 30, 2016, when a more concrete decision on the CF-18 competition may have been made.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 to tour in air shows

By Thom Patterson
March 17, 2016

Adele, Beyonce and Springsteen are planning tours this summer. Now you can add another pricey attention-grabber to the list: The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

America’s newest and most technologically sophisticated fighter jet kicks off a tour of airshows in the West, Midwest, South and Northeastern United States in April alongside 20th century war birds, like the F-86 Sabre, the P-38 Lightning and the P-51 Mustang.

The F-35 Heritage Flight Team tour will feature precision flying in tight formation just a few feet apart. Combining the newest fighter with some of the classics is a way to honor the past, present and future of the U.S. Air Force, organizers said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Top officer takes heat over the A-10

By Phillip Swarts
March 21, 2016

The service is ignoring the facts about the effectiveness of the A-10 “Warthog,” says Sen. John McCain, who lit into Air Force leadership on March 3. The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee launched a fiery exchange with the Air Force’s top officer in the latest round of conflict over the retirement of the workhorse Thunderbolt II.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Australian Investigative Report on JSF F35

by Jonathan Green
Mar. 6, 2016

Is the Joint Strike Fighter the right plane for Australia?

The JSF is not terribly fast and it’s not terribly agile, and the high tech helmet could take the pilots head off if there is a mishap. Sarah Dingle investigates the over budget and over due Joint Strike Fighter

[FULL ARTICLE]

Danish pilots talk about the F-35

By Solomon
Feb. 25, 2016

Listen to what the pilots say about the F-35? How about this retired LTCol from the Danish Air Force!

via Australian Senate Submission on the F-35 (Link and item 35).

“We also simulated Joint Strike Fighter against Russian fighter aircraft where we flew two against two.
In the forenoon I and the Danish test pilot was flying Joint Strike Fighters against two Russian fighters. Inthe afternoon we swapped, so we flew Russian fighter aircraft against the Joint Strike Fighter.
In the afternoon the first thing the test pilot and I noticed was that the Russian fighters was not loaded with the best air-to-air missiles as the Russians have in real life. We therefore asked about getting some better. It was denied us. We two pilots complained but it was not changed.
My test pilot and I decided in our simulated Russian combat aircraft to fly “line abreast”, but with 25 nautical miles distance. Then at least one of us could with radar look into the side of the Joint Strike Fighter and thus view it at long distance. The one who “saw” the Joint Strike Fighter could then link the radar image to the other. Then missiles could be fired at long distance at the Joint Strike Fighter.
It was also denied us, although we protested this incomprehensible disposition.
It was now quite clear to us that with the directives and emotional limitations simulations would in no waygive a true and fair view of anything. On the other hand, it would show that the Joint Strike Fighter was a good air defense fighter, which in no way can be inferred from the simulations. We spoke loudly and clearly that this way was manipulating with the Joint Strike Fighter air defence capability.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Money for lobbyists to find military missions

By David Wichner
Feb. 28, 2016

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base would start losing its A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jets as soon as the fall of 2018 under a new plan to retire the entire A-10 fleet by 2022.

The Air Force said in early February it would delay its proposed retirement of the A-10 ‘Warthog’ – a close-air-support jet that represents a mainstay of D-M operations – until 2022. Earlier attempts by the Air Force to mothball the jet by 2019 were turned back by Congress.

That announcement was cheered by A-10 backers in Congress, including Arizona Sen.John McCainand Rep. Martha McSally ,a Tucson Republican and former A-10 combat pilot, who led efforts that halted A-10 retirements the Air Force had initially sought to start in 2015.

[FULL ARTICLE]

New planes but no more airmen

By Phillip Swarts
Feb. 22, 2016

The Air Force is asking for an increase of $1.3 billion to its main operating budget in fiscal 2017, but it doesn’t increase end strength, according to budget documents released Feb. 9.

Top brass has requested $120.4 billion for FY2017, leaving Air Force end strength to about 490,000 airmen; the service will remain the smallest it has been since it was created. But the Air Force sounded the alarm Feb. 9 about its increasing responsibilities and the budget’s inability to keep up.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Sanders’ position on the F-35 contradicts his views on defense spending

By Sarah Sicard
Jan. 14, 2016

Though Sen. Bernie Sanders advocates for spending cuts, he also supports the costliest program ever funded.
Democratic candidate for president and Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, seems to have contradictory policies regarding the Defense Department.

Within his platform regarding the military, he suggests that the U.S. military spends too much money on defense, and is known to staunchly oppose military engagement unless absolutely necessary.

In a town hall meeting in Iowa City, Sanders said, “We know that there is massive fraud going on in the defense industry. Virtually every major defense contractor has either been convicted of fraud or reached a settlement with the government …We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world. But I think we can make judicious cuts.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Bernie Backs Trillion Dollar Weapon System

By Ben Armbruster
Feb. 17, 2016

As we all know by now, Bernie Sanders is campaigning on a promise to change American politics in such a way that benefits the middle class and working families at the expense of corporate greed and influence.

“I am asking you to be part of a political revolution,” Bernie told his supporters last summer. “A revolution which transforms our country economically, politically, socially, and environmentally.”

While some have wondered how Bernie’s revolution will stand up to the realities of governing should he win the White House, what’s often been overlooked is the fact that the Vermont Independent has had plenty of opportunities to buck the system as a U.S. Senator. He has not always taken those opportunities, instead siding with big corporations at the expense of the taxpayer.

Nowhere is this more evident than his unwavering support for one of the biggest boondoggles in U.S. military history: the F-35.

[FULL ARTICLE]

The Comanche and the Albatross

By Col Michael W. Pietrucha, USAF
May-June 2014

The Air Force intended eventually to replace much of the post-Vietnam fighter fleet with the F-35A. This stealthy aircraft possesses advanced technology and was intended to be no more expensive than the aircraft it was designed to supplant. The Air Force sought to buy 1,763 F-35As—the number required to replace every F-16, A-10, and F-117 then in service. Rather than an affordable, capable fighter aircraft operational in large numbers by 2015, the F-35 continues to arrive late and cost more than anticipated. Program delays, unmet performance requirements, and spiraling costs have recently run full tilt into an austere budgetary environment. Budgetary realities should serve as an impetus to reexamine the Air Force’s participation in the F-35 program and the future of the fighter force.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Thunder without Lightning: The high costs and limited benefits of the F-35

By Bill French

August 2015

The National Security Network (NSN) is pleased to release a new policy report, Thunder without Lightning: The High Costs and Limited Benefits of the F-35. According to our analysis, the F-35 lacks the capabilities to execute its primary mission, and costs too much relative to its predecessors. The Department of Defense should examine ways to reduce its commitment to this albatross of an acquisition program.

From the report:

“To perform against near-peer adversaries, the F-35 will have to be capable of executing a range of missions, from defeating enemy aircraft to penetrating enemy air defenses to strike surface targets. But the F-35 will struggle to effectively perform these missions due to shortcomings in its design and program requirements, despite costing between three and nine times more than the 4th-generation aircraft it is designed to replace.

The F-35 will find itself outmaneuvered, outgunned, out of range, and visible to enemy sensors. Going forward, full investment in the F-35 would be to place a bad trillion-dollar bet on the future of airpower based on flawed assumptions and an underperforming aircraft. To avoid such a catastrophic outcome, Congress and DOD should begin the process of considering alternatives to a large-scale commitment to the F-35. Staying the present course may needlessly gamble away a sizable margin of American airpower at great expense and unnecessary risk to American lives.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Mountain Home AFB testing to determine if F-35 ready for combat

By John Sowell

Feb. 24, 2016

Flying the next generation F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jet is like stepping out of a Toyota Camry into a Lamborghini, a U.S. Air Force pilot told reporters Wednesday.

“That’s as close as I can give you as an example,” Maj. Chris White said.

When you take off, it gives you a shove into the back of the pilot’s seat, he said.

“It gives you the butterflies right before every single takeoff,” said White, a commander with the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base outside Lancaster, Calif. “I smile every time I take off.”

For the past three weeks, six F-35As from Edwards have been undergoing testing at the bombing range at Mountain Home Air Force Base. They are being evaluated under simulated combat conditions to see if the planes are ready for use by pilots at Hill Air Force Base outside Ogden, Utah.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon postpones retirement of A-10s

By John Sowell

Feb. 26, 2016

The Islamic State unwittingly forced the U.S. Air Force to continue flying one of ISIS’ fiercest enemies: the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

The Air Force was all set to retire the jet, known affectionately among its crews as the Warthog. Then it was pressed into service last year against the Islamic State in the Mideast, where it drew rave reviews.

“I saw some of the A-10s that are flying bombing missions against ISIL (the Pentagon’s term for Islamic State) when I was at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey last December,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told members of a House appropriations subcommittee during testimony Thursday on the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

The A-10, Carter told the committee, will continue flying until at least 2022.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Trial F-35A deployment

By James Drew
Feb. 23, 2016

Six F-35As of the 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron have deployed to Mountain Home AFB in Idaho this month for an “operational deployment test” that will clear the way for 10 operational jets from the first combat-coded squadron, which will follow this summer.

Normally based at Edwards AFB in California, the six test aircraft are flying training sorties alongside locally housed Fairchild Republic A-10s and Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles at a nearby weapons range.

The air force announced this week that the F-35s arrived on 8 February, and a base spokesman confirms the six jets are still there.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 still a train wreck

BY ALLAN BOURDIUS
Feb. 5, 2016

Now that votes are finally being cast, most Hot Air content is going to be revolving around the ongoing campaign, but it’s important we don’t lose sight of issue details that could wind up affecting the race, especially in areas where traditional Republican stances could leave one or more candidates very, very vulnerable.

National defense is a perennial Republican running point. More troops, more ships, more planes, more dollars is pretty much the mantra of every candidate. The worrisome story of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – a.k.a. the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II – has been addressed here before by Jazz Shaw (July 1, 2015 and August 15, 2015), and since then, has gotten worse, not better. The F-35 is the most expensive defense acquisition project ever with projected costs exceeding $1.3 trillion.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed, Boeing decide not to sue Air Force

By Aaron Mehta and Lara Seligman
February 26, 2016

Hours before the Boeing announcement, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James officially designated the LRS-B program the B-21 bomber and unveiled an artists concept of the plane. The Air Force said in a statement it choose the B-21 designation as recognition that LRS-B is the first bomber of the 21st century.

Following the announcement, James told reporters she had received an “encouraging” phone call from Boeing’s CEO earlier this week, and had “high hopes” that the Boeing-Lockheed team would decide not to pursue further action.

James emphasized the Air Force’s “valuable” relationship with Boeing on other programs, and stressed the importance of moving forward with engineering and development work on the B-21.

“Boeing is a very valuable partner, we have a lot going on with boeing, and we need to get on with the bomber,” she said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

FDA Nominee Califf Gave Questionable Answers to Senate

By POGO
February 4, 2016

As President Obama’s nominee for FDA Commissioner, former Duke University researcher Robert Califf has faced questions about the independence of clinical trials he conducted for drug companies.

At a confirmation hearing in November and in a written response to later questions from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Califf offered comforting answers. He said that plans for clinical trials are subject to FDA review.

But those answers omitted some history that might be less reassuring: a clinical trial Califf had co-chaired was conducted in defiance of FDA guidance.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Despite Decades of Stealth, Sticking Points Bedevil F-35 Jet

By CLYDE HABERMAN
JAN. 24, 2016

One of the earliest stealth weapons on record was a stone used by the young Israelite David to kill the Philistine giant Goliath. In the biblical account, David shunned the conventional armaments of his time: sword, helmet, armor. Instead, he went forth with a slingshot and a few stones, kept undetected in a pouch. As any schoolchild knows, one well-aimed fling was all it took to put Goliath down for good. The big guy never saw it coming.

It is not clear to what extent David tested his weapon before doing battle, but he presumably had experimented. The first Book of Samuel tells how he had earlier struck and killed a lion and a bear that menaced the sheep he tended.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Sanders position on the F-35 contradicts his views on defense spending

Sarah Sicard
January 14, 2016

Though Sen. Bernie Sanders advocates for spending cuts, he also supports the costliest program ever funded.
Democratic candidate for president and Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, seems to have contradictory policies regarding the Defense Department.

Within his platform regarding the military, he suggests that the U.S. military spends too much money on defense, and is known to staunchly oppose military engagement unless absolutely necessary.

In a town hall meeting in Iowa City, Sanders said, “We know that there is massive fraud going on in the defense industry.  Virtually every major defense contractor has either been convicted of fraud or reached a settlement with the government …We need a strong military, it is a dangerous world.  But I think we can make judicious cuts.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Bernie Sanders Loves this $1 Trillion War Machine

Tim Mak
February 9, 2016

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Sen. Bernie Sanders has railed against big defense corporations at rallies, but he has a more complex history with the military-industrial complex. Most notably, he’s supported a $1.2 trillion stealth fighter that’s considered by many to be one of the bigger boondoggles in Pentagon history.

Sanders has made his opposition to Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness a cornerstone of his campaign. But he hasn’t exactly been antiwar all his career. When it has come time to choose between defense jobs and a dovish defense policy, Sanders has consistently chosen to stand with the arms-makers rather than the peaceniks—leading to tension with some of the most adamant adherents of progressive ideology.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 total disaster

By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
January 27, 2016

The F-35 is an absolute disaster, and it needs to go. The scandals around it are legion.

The supersonic stealth plane called the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was supposed to be the greatest and best military plane the world has ever seen. While the United States’ stealthy F-22 is an “air superiority” plane, ensuring the country’s dominance over the skies, which is why exporting it is illegal, the F-35 was supposed to be able to do everything, and be the standard fighter-bomber of the U.S. and most countries with which the U.S. has friendly relations. It was supposed to be stealthy, to be able take off and land vertically, and to know everything about everything thanks to its amazing software and sensors. It can’t do any of those things so far.

The program has cost $1.3 trillion so far. By comparison, the Apollo Program, which actually sent people to the moon, cost about $170 billion in 2005 dollars. The F-35 is literally the most expensive military project in history. By 2014, the program was $163 billion over budget, and seven years behind schedule.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Ground Hog Day: De-bugging the F-35

By BP
February 8, 2016

It seems the F-35 fighter; aka the most expensive weapons system ever, hasn’t been in the news too often lately. And most of the news out that is out there is awful, according to reports in early February. If or when the jet fighters do fly on a regular basis, at some point in the future some will be used by the Vermont Air National Guard and based at the Burlington airport. This is over objections from residents in nearby towns over possible noise levels during take-off and landings — so, here’s a heads up for Vermonters.

If you care to read more details, that can be done here. But these three descriptive headlines provide a more than adequate, quick summary: The Version That the Marines Are Using Is Very Buggy; ALIS [Autonomic Logistics Information System] Is Still Terrible, Perhaps Even Getting Worse; and my favorite, Lockouts, Confusion, etc.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon to cut purchase of F-35 jets

By Zacks Equity Research

The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that it plans to purchase fewer F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT – Analyst Report) over the next five years, than it had originally planned.

Pentagon’s Plans for the F-35 Jets

Importantly, the Pentagon was forced to cut approximately $4 billion from the F-35 program and other aircraft programs in fiscal 2017, and slash billions of dollars from other procurement accounts to meet the Congress budget deal.

The Pentagon remains committed to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, worth $391 billion, which is the single largest weapons program. However, purchases for the program are expected to slow down a little over the next five years. The Pentagon’s next five-year plan, beginning fiscal 2017 through fiscal 2020, covers the purchase of 299 jets (down by 37 units from the previous expectation). However, the major spurt in orders is not expected to come until the projected purchase of 105 fighter jets in fiscal 2021.

[FULL ARTICLE]

AF plans to keep A-10s and buy fewer F-35s

By Bryant Jordan
Feb 09, 2016

The Air Force on Tuesday released a 2017 budget geared to rebalance the force and counter readiness problems resulting from years of deployments, personnel shortages and sequester-forced spending caps that have cut into modernization programs across the board.

At $167 billion, the service’s budget is roughly $5 billion more than was appropriated for fiscal 2016, according to Air Force figures that show end strength will remain unchanged from the current year at 317,000 airmen.

[FULL ARTICLE]

An intrusion on our home

By Bruce S. Post
FEB. 1, 2016

The passionate disagreements about the F-35 and industrial wind share a commonality: the meaning of home.

“Home is the place,” wrote Robert Frost, “where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Home and hearth are rooted in our soul, private places of respite and retreat from the grinding gears of public life. The expression “if these walls could talk” symbolizes that our dwellings are more than simply structures; they are storehouses of memories, giving us a sense of our individual and familial selves.

That is the romantic vision. Less romantically, we are never completely safe in our homes. We are wary of the stranger at the door, fearful of the burglar and the thief. We fear the sense of violation that comes with a lock pried, window broken and drawers thrown about indiscriminately. We arm ourselves with dead-bolt locks, alarm systems, barred windows and bullets and guns. The claim “I never lock my door” seems naïve and foolhardy. “Be careful,” we caution, “you never know.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 exceeds 50,000 flying hours

By Marina Malenic
February 11, 2016

Key Points

  • F-35s have accumulated more than 50,000 flight hours
    The 25,000 flight-hour milestone occurred in December 2014, and that number doubled in just more than one year
  • Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters operating at 12 international locations have accumulated more than 50,000 flight hours, the company announced on 10 February.

The flight hours fell into two main categories: operational flying hours, flown by 155 jets delivered to six different nations; and System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test hours, flown by 18 aircraft assigned to the Integrated Test Forces at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California, and Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, according to a 10 February press statement released by the company. Operational jets flew approximately 37,950 hours while SDD aircraft flew 12,050 hours, according to Lockheed Martin. More than one third of the programme’s flight hours were flown in 2015. Approximately 26,000 hours were flown by the F-35A, 18,000 hours by the F-35B, and 6,000 by the F-35C.

[FULL ARTICLE]

AF General passes out during F-35 briefing

By Blake Stilwell
Feb. 11, 2016

Normally, James Martin is the very model of a modern major general.

But the Air Force officer, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, recently collapsed at the podium while answering questions about the F-35.

Air Force Deputy for Budget Carolyn Gleason held Maj. Gen. Martin up, while aides came to help Martin, who regained his senses seconds later.

[FULL ARTICLE]

DOT&E Concerns about the F-35

by Bryan Myers & Sheila MacVicar
February 2, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The bad news for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – the most expensive weapons program in history, with an estimated price tag of $1.4 trillion – continues to pile up.

In a stark new assessment, a Pentagon report documents significant and on-going problems with the F-35 program. America Tonight has obtained a copy of that report in advance of its release.

The findings [PDF], which were made by Dr. J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), include:

[FULL ARTICLE]

Decades of Stealth Sticking Points Bedevil F-35

Despite Decades of Stealth  Sticking Points Bedevil F 35 JetBy CLYDE HABERMAN
JAN. 24, 2016

One of the earliest stealth weapons on record was a stone used by the young Israelite David to kill the Philistine giant Goliath. In the biblical account, David shunned the conventional armaments of his time: sword, helmet, armor. Instead, he went forth with a slingshot and a few stones, kept undetected in a pouch. As any schoolchild knows, one well-aimed fling was all it took to put Goliath down for good. The big guy never saw it coming.

It is not clear to what extent David tested his weapon before doing battle, but he presumably had experimented. The first Book of Samuel tells how he had earlier struck and killed a lion and a bear that menaced the sheep he tended.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Letter to the Editor of the Idaho Statesman, January 26, 2016

“We are among “those that live by the airport.” However, we have never complained about the noise, until this past summer (and only to each other). We’ve lived here 15 years, love the area and being close to everything. We moved in from Meridian after 17 years of the sprawl out there. Our home was built in 1954, 10 years before the first jet service to Boise. We expected airport noise: we did spend eight years on SAC and TAC air bases. But, the noise from the F-15s this summer was terrible. And the City of Boise potentially wants to allow F-35s with considerably more noise at Gowen? There is a reason for Mountain Home AFB: put them there. We tried to read the noise study, but not being a government bureaucrat, we were unable to decipher the data. Has the City of Boise become so dollar hungry that they are willing to sacrifice the quality of life for an expanded tax base? Finally, anyone familiar with USAF aircraft, must be aware of the noticeable noise difference between an F-15 and an A10.”

Al and Patti Crager, Boise

Tucson Residents file lawsuit against AF

By Bud Foster
Jan 26, 2016

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -Three residents who live in midtown Tucson in the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base flight path have filed a suit against the U.S. Air Force.

The suit, filed by the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Intereston behalf of Gary Hunter, Anita Scales and Rita Orneles, states the Air Force did not follow required federal protocols in preparing an environmental assessment on the impact its new training schedule would have on neighborhoods in the flight path.

[FULL ARTICLE]

David-Monthan residents sue over F-35 noise

By Caitlin Schmidt
January 23, 2016

Three residents of neighborhoods near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base have filed for an injunction in federal court, seeking to require the Air Force to conduct a more detailed analysis of how increased training flights from the base will affect the community.

Rita Ornelas, Gary Hunter and Anita Scales filed the complaint Friday with the U.S. District Court of Arizona, saying that the Air Force failed to follow federal guidelines when it approved a plan last year to increase the number of operations.

The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, a nonprofit firm that focuses on government accountability, is representing the plaintiffs.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Boise airport noise concerns

BY SVEN BERG
DECEMBER 23, 2015

Some Boiseans believe the deciders have made up their minds to bring louder military jets to Boise.

Many of these people live near the airport, so they’d be most affected by the noise. They suspect their concerns don’t matter to the city government, Idaho Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force. When the authorities reach out and ask for their opinions, they think it’s just for show.

“I don’t like that — the feeling that we’re being manipulated,” said Monty Mericle, who lives on Meriwether Drive just north of the Boise Airport’s runways.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Sonic Booms heard from NJ to CT

By Associated Press
Jan 28, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Sonic booms heard and felt along the eastern shoreline were caused by military fighter jets conducting tests, officials said.

An F-35C, which has a top speed of nearly 1,200 mph, and an F-18 from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland were conducting supersonic testing off the coast Thursday afternoon, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

Residents reported hearing loud booms and feeling the ground and buildings shake from New Jersey to Long Island. The booms were heard as far away as Connecticut.

[FULL ARTICLE]

McCain praises A-10

By Joe Ferguson
January 16, 2016

Arizona Sen. John McCaincredits the fight against the ISIS terror group for postponing the retirement of the military’s A-10 Thunderbolt II jet, which has a huge presence at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

‘If you had to give the majority of credit somewhere, I would give it to Mr. Baghdadi in ISIS, because we had to go into Syria. We had to go after ISIS. The A-10 is still the most capable weapon to do that,’McCain, R-Arizona, told the Arizona Daily Star during a meeting Friday, citing the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

‘This is probably the first and last time that I am in league with Mr. Baghdadi.’

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lawmaker requests funding for A-10 replacement

By Lara Seligman
January 28, 2016

WASHINGTON — Ahead of President Barack Obama’s budget rollout next week, an influential Air Force pilot-turned lawmaker called on the commander-in-chief and his defense secretary to request full funding for the legacy A-10 until plans for its replacement take shape.

“As you finalize the Department of Defense’s (DOD) budget request for fiscal year 2017, I ask that you fully fund the A-10 ‘Warthog’ in a manner consistent with Congressional intent,” Rep. March McSally, R-Ariz., a retired Air Force colonel with 325 hours flying the A-10 in Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote in a Jan. 28 letter to Obama and Defense Secretary Ash Carter. “Because there is no replacement for these unique and crucial capabilities, either currently available or in development, we must maintain and improve the A-10 fleet until a real A-10 replacement exists.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Countdown to operational F-35

By Phillip Swarts
December 28, 2015

After 15 years in development and a planned $1.5 trillion investment in the program, the Air Force’s divisive, longawaited fifth-generation fighter is expected to finally be ready for limited operations in 2016.

Once the F-35 Lightning II, built by Lockheed Martin, reaches initial operating capability, the Air Force will have the advanced stealth aircraft leaders say the service desperately needs to replace aging F-15s and F-16s and bolster the curtailed buy of F-22s.

Here’s what you need to know:

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed Martin says F-35 is back on track

By Thad Moore
December 14, 2015

PINELLAS PARK — Daniel Conroy knows the F-35 Lightning II program has had its problems, delayed for years and costing far more than first expected.

But the Pentagon’s ambitious fighter jet project is finally back on track, says Conroy, director of the Air Force F-35 program for Lockheed Martin, which is building the plane.

“The program has been challenging, flight test has been difficult, but we’ve worked through a lot of issues,” Conroy said Monday at Lockheed Martin’s facility here. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Handshake agreement on F-35 engine

By Lara Seligman
January 15, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon and engine maker Pratt & Whitney have reached a handshake agreement on the ninth and tenth batches of F135 engines to power the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the department announced today.

The ninth and tenth low rate initial production (LRIP) contracts will cover 66 and 101 engines, respectively, according to a Jan. 15 statement from the Joint Program Office.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Industry Rethinking how to build military aircraft

By Sandra I. Erwin
January 18, 2016

PALMDALE, Calif. — “Exploratory teams” of government officials periodically are seen in this part of southern California, checking the pulse of the aerospace industry at a time when the Pentagon is under growing pressure to innovate and can no longer afford to do business as usual.

The changing defense market is putting the squeeze on companies that design and build cutting-edge aircraft. The focus is now on rapid prototyping and other techniques that let buyers experiment with new systems before they commit to major investments.

“I’ve been hearing about a paradigm shift,” says Kevin Mickey, vice president of advanced design at Northrop Grumman.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-22 and F-35 can’t share data

By Phillip Swarts
December 14, 2015

If the Air Force wants to be effective in future conflicts, it must rethink the way it handles electronic warfare, a retired general said Dec. 1.

“Currently there’s no data link between the F-22 and F-35 that would allow them to share targeting data,” said retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula. “Instead, these two fifth-gen aircraft — built by the same company, I might add — operate separate networks riding on proprietary links.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 production may have to slow

By Aaron Mehta
December 14, 2015

ThePentagonexpectstomake“disproportionate” cuts to modernization and research and development funding in its fiscal 2017 budget request, while personnel and readiness remain stable, according to the department’s top acquisition official. Those cuts may well include a slowdown in F-35 production.

Overall, the cuts could slow down the much ballyhooed “Third Offset” strategy, identified by Defense Secretary Ash Carter as key to maintaining America’s military technological dominance.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Boise airport noise concerns

BY SVEN BERG
DECEMBER 23, 2015

Some Boiseans believe the deciders have made up their minds to bring louder military jets to Boise.

Many of these people live near the airport, so they’d be most affected by the noise. They suspect their concerns don’t matter to the city government, Idaho Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force. When the authorities reach out and ask for their opinions, they think it’s just for show.

“I don’t like that — the feeling that we’re being manipulated,” said Monty Mericle, who lives on Meriwether Drive just north of the Boise Airport’s runways.

Countdown to operational F-35

By Phillip Swarts
December 28, 2015

After 15 years in development and a planned $1.5 trillion investment in the program, the Air Force’s divisive, longawaited fifth-generation fighter is expected to finally be ready for limited operations in 2016.

Once the F-35 Lightning II, built by Lockheed Martin, reaches initial operating capability, the Air Force will have the advanced stealth aircraft leaders say the service desperately needs to replace aging F-15s and F-16s and bolster the curtailed buy of F-22s.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Network of Communities Oppose Military Expansion on Public Lands

The network of communities standing up to current and proposed military activity continues to grow. Organizers from many communities share information, undertake joint projects and focus on the need for fiscal and programmatic accountability from the Pentagon.

Join us in demanding accountability from the Pentagon. It is past time for the Pentagon to pass an audit like every other federal agency. A recent study by Reuters found that the Pentagon cannot document what happened to more than $8 trillion in taxpayer money dating back to 1996.

[FULL ARTICLE]

USAF denies seeking more F-16 or F-15 combat jets

BY: JAMES DREW
November 25, 2015

The US Air Force has denied any plans to purchase another tranche of Lockheed Martin F-16 or Boeing F-15 combat jets following reports it could seek bids for up to 72 new aircraft.

According to comments attributed to a senior US Air Combat Command official at an international fighter conference in London last week, the current Lockheed F-35 procurement plan could prove unaffordable, and another fighter wing of F-15s, F-16s or perhaps even F/A-18s is being considered to supplement the current fleet – which will serve into the 2040s as F-35s are delivered.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Netherlands Prepare for F-35

By Tony Osborne
Dec 8, 2015

With plans to purchase just 37 aircraft, the Netherlands fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) is likely to be one of the world’s smallest. Yet the fighter’s introduction is seen as a catalyst for change, transforming not only the way the Netherlands thinks about airpower but also prompting cohesion, with bilateral and trilateral discussions with other European operators. “We need to be suitable to operate in a modern agile and ever-changing environment,” Gen. …

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon might cut 2017 F-35 Budget

By Larry Darrell
Dec 3, 2015

Lockheed Martin Corporation’s (NYSE:LMT) F-35 project has come under renewed question, as the Pentagon mulls a reduction in its budget for fiscal year 2017 (FY17). The Congress is expected to propose some budget caps that might directly impact the F-35’s budget, as the government spreads its finances toward other projects as well.

Although the total defense budget is not expected to be reduced, the F-35, among various other projects would receive reduced government spending. Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, announced in an industry conference, “Dollar for dollar it probably gives us more combat capability than any other investment that we’re making, but we’ve got a lot of other things that we need to do as well.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Resident frustration with airport noise maps

BY MORGAN TRUE
November 10, 2015

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Close to 150 residents packed the gymnasium at the Chamberlin Elementary School on Monday night to take a first look at new noise exposure maps drafted by the Burlington International Airport.

The noise maps were last updated in 2006, and the draft maps released Monday are the first to account for the afterburners on the Air National Guard’s F-16 fighter jet engines.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Bernie and the Jets

by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
NOVEMBER 13, 2015

As Clintons are wont to do, Hillary laid a political trap and Bernie Sanders, in his Schlemiel-like way, stumbled right into it. In the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s smashing victory as the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Hillary’s super-PAC, Correct the Record, tarred Sanders as a Corbyn-lite renegade who has cozied up to untouchable figures like Hugo Chavez.

About a decade ago, Sanders was part of a delegation that negotiated a sensible deal to bring low-cost heating oil from Venezuela to poor families in the northeastern United States. But instead of defending his honorable role in this ex parte negotiation, Sanders wilted. In a fundraising email to his legions of Sandernistas, Bernie fumed at being “linked to a dead Communist dictator.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Bernie Sanders continues to support the military-industrial complex over Vermonters

From: “U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders” <[email protected]>

Date: November 9, 2015, 5:41:22 PM EST

Subject: Email from Senator Sanders

bernie-sanders

Thank you for contacting me about the U.S. Air Force’s decision to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in South Burlington.  I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns on this very important issue.

Let me begin by stating that I believe it speaks to the commendable record of the Vermont National Guard that the Air Force decided to base its newest generation of planes in South Burlington.  The Vermont Guard played a critical role responding to the September 11 attacks in New York, Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont, and Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast.  And, while I personally have deep concerns about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is no question that Vermont Guard members have served admirably and honorably – often at enormous personal cost – when called to active duty.

I do not want to see the role of the Vermont Air National Guard diminished or eliminated, and this decision ensures the mission of the Vermont Air Guard far into the future.  It protects the jobs and educational opportunities for more than a thousand Vermonters while securing the Guard’s significant contribution to the local economy for years to come.  Moreover, a failure to be chosen in the first F-35 basing round would have exposed the Burlington Air Guard Station to the Base Realignment and Closure process, and that is why the Vermont Guard leadership unequivocally believed the best way to ensure their mission was to get the F-35.  I supported that position.

There are residents near the airport who are very legitimately concerned about noise, and I share that concern.  Along with Senator Leahy and Congressman Welch, I have asked the Air Force to address noise concerns.  We have also urged the Guard to work closely with its airport neighbors to reduce noise to the extent possible through operational measures such as limiting afterburner use, flying at less than full military power, modifying take-off and landing patterns, etc.

And, like many Vermonters I have serious concerns about the cost of this plane.  Throughout my career, I have called for cutting military spending and rooting-out fraud, waste and corruption in the defense industry.  At the very least, I believe Lockheed Martin must cover cost overages, rather than the U.S. taxpayer. 

However, whether one likes the F-35 or not, the Air Force is moving forward with plans to replace the F-16 with the F-35.  As long as the F-35 is deployed anywhere, I would rather protect the mission of the citizen soldiers of the Vermont Guard, and maintain 1100 jobs here in Vermont, rather than in South Carolina or Florida. 

Thank you again for contacting me, and please feel free to stay in touch about this or any other subject of interest to you.  For up-to-date information on what I am working on, please sign-up for my e-newsletter, the Bernie Buzz, at http://sanders.senate.gov/buzz/.

Sincerely,

BERNARD SANDERS

United States Senator

US considers purchasing more F-15s or F-16s

By Bill Sweetman
November 19, 2015

LONDON — The U.S. Air Force may solicit bids for 72 new Boeing F-15s, Lockheed Martin F-16s or even Boeing F/A-18E/Fs as budget issues put planned production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter out of reach, according to senior service and industry officials at the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference …

[FULL ARTICLE]

A-10 Retirement Could be Delayed

By Phillip Swarts
November 23, 2015

The Air Force could delay retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II by a few years to meet demand for close-air support missions, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, said Nov. 10.

“I think we would probably move the retirement slightly to the right,” he said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast. “Eventually we will have to get there. We have to retire airplanes. But I think moving it to the right and starting it a bit later and keeping the airplane a bit longer is something to consider, based on things as they are today and what we see in the future.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Bomber cost could upset F-35 plans

By Jeff Schogol
November 10, 2015

The F-35 is going to eat up so much of the Air Force’s procurement budget going forward that the service will likely have to reduce the number of joint strike fighters it buys to pay for other things, such as the Long Range Strike-Bomber, experts said on Tuesday.

As part of the Defense Department’s proposed budget for fiscal 2016, the Air Force would purchase 44 F-35s this fiscal year, 48 in fiscal 2017 and 60 each year from fiscal 2018 through 2020, budget documents show. The total procurement cost of the 1,763 F-35s is about $215 billion.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Denmark and Belgium close to F-35 decision

By Bill Sweetman
November 18, 2015

LONDON—Denmark’s government is expected to recommend the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in December as the replacement for the F-16, according to industry executives attending the Defense IQ International Fighter …

[FULL ARTICLE]

US considers purchasing more F-15s or F-16s

By Bill Sweetman
November 19, 2015

LONDON — The U.S. Air Force may solicit bids for 72 new Boeing F-15s, Lockheed Martin F-16s or even Boeing F/A-18E/Fs as budget issues put planned production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter out of reach, according to senior service and industry officials at the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference …

[FULL ARTICLE]

Canadian investment in the F-35

By Phil Stewart
November 21, 2015

But Canada, one of the nine countries in the initial F-35 partnership, pledged to invest $150 million in the program’s development when it signed up in February 2002.

Those funds would not be reimbursed if Canada exits the program. Many Canadian firms that supply parts worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Lockheed each year could also lose those orders.

 

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 fuselage delivery to Israel

By CompositesWorld
November 23, 2015

Northrop Grumman Corp. (Falls Church, VA, US) has delivered the center fuselage for the first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to be purchased by Israel, an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant designated AS-1. The center fuselage was produced on Northrop Grumman’s F-35 Integrated Assembly Line at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence.

“The delivery of the AS-1 center fuselage is a significant addition to the growing list of allied countries that have invested in owning and fielding the fifth generation F-35 aircraft,” said Brian Chappel, vice president and F-35 program manager of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “It also adds momentum to the success of our highly automated Integrated Assembly Line, which is helping increase the production rate, quality and affordability of the F-35 program.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Opponents Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

BY MARK DAVIS
OCT 29, 2015

Opponents of the U.S. Air Force’s decision to base next-generation F-35 fighter planes at Burlington International Airport have taken their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Activists have asked the high court to hear their appeal of a March Vermont Supreme Court ruling, which said the airport did not need to obtain state land use permits to base the new jets at the airport.

[FULL ARTICLE]

South Boise, Idaho residents concerned about F-35

BY SVEN BERG
November 7, 2015

People who live near the Boise Airport are worried the Idaho Air National Guard’s next flying mission will damage their lives, though that new mission is probably years away.

They’re worried the U.S. Air Force will replace Gowen Field’s 21 A-10s, which are low-speed warplanes designed to attack ground targets, with F-15s or F-35s.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Dougherty LTE in Boise Idaho on F-35

This appeared in today’s Idaho Statesman newspaper (Boise) and relates to the Idaho Air National Guard’s operations at the Boise airport, also known as Gowen Field.

Michael DeJulis’ letter, Oct.18, confuses me. He talks of F-15s/ F-35s “higher altitude take offs,” “turning left upon exiting the runway,” “deafening noise” and “black exhaust droplets.” I am an Air Force brat, and served 20 years in USAF working as a Crew Chief on fighters, to include the F-15. First, Gowen and the airport share the runways. Keep in mind flight patterns and traffic. The E model 15’s require afterburner longer due to take off weight. Landing requires very little throttle adjustments at or near idle, same as airliners, for proper glide slope. If Michael lives three miles away, then how does he know they don’t turn until Nampa? Black exhaust droplets? If they are from jet exhaust, airliners are now in the jet age too. After a lifetime of living, working, and parking near these jets, I have never seen such droplets on clothes, cars or houses. I have however seen ash from range fires. Now the F-35. The F-15 has two engines, F-35 has one. It can takeoff vertically. Maybe louder on vertical takeoff, landings, and hovering, which would be at Gowen, not on Michael’s street. I have yet to see it fly. Have you?

Bruce Dougherty, Mountain Home

Garritano LTE on Canadian new Prime Minister’s intention to stop participating in F-35 buy

Hooray for Canada!

Liberals have won the majority in Canada’s election which should be front page news in America. These liberals walk the walk unlike the neoliberals that have taken over our Democratic party.

Canada’s new prime minister immediately called for an end to their participation in U.S. misadventures in the Middle East and the wasteful boondoggle that is the F-35 bomber.

Decades of military failure have not changed U.S. policy only strengthened our idiotic resolve. Canada has decided to focus on domestic issues with the money saved. What a concept!

Too bad Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Peter Welch don’t see things this way. They appear to have a military industrial complex.

PETER GARRITANO

Shelburne

Andreoli LTE in Seven Days on Rabbi Chasan and Clergy opposition to F-35

[Re “Mitzvot Accomplished,” October 14]: Your article on Rabbi Chasan and his leadership of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue mentioned the 2013 open letter to U.S. senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Gov. Peter Shumlin, in which Chasan and 15 other area clergy and religious leaders expressed concern over the proposed basing of the F-35 stealth bomber/fighter jet in Vermont.

These spiritual leaders beseeched our political representatives to advocate on behalf of the thousands of Vermonters who will be negatively affected by the planned F-35 basing, especially middle- and low-income, minority, and refugee populations. They urged the politicians to use their influence to withdraw Burlington from this first selection process and wait until the next round of basing, by which time the F-35s would have developed a track record on their impact on safety, health and property values.

Sadly, the politicians did not listen and they refused to meet with the clergy or any of those who would be impacted by the basing!

Then in February 2015, Rabbi Chasan and 45 other religious leaders again contacted these representatives to ask for a delay in the basing. “Common sense would direct the placement of these planes to airports with far fewer people in the vicinity; far fewer children whose young ears would be blasted, their learning disrupted,” Chasan said.

And again they were ignored. Shame on our elected officials for refusing to even discuss the clergy’s concerns about the morality and the social justice impacts of the F-35 on the poor and marginalized.

My sincere gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to Rabbi Chasan for repeatedly speaking out about this planned injustice to our residential communities.

Eileen Andreoli
Winooski

Navy to continue buying F-18 because F-35 is delayed

BY: JAMES DREW
NOVEMBER 5, 2015

US Navy officials have reaffirmed plans to procure an additional 24 to 36 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets through fiscal year 2018 while also boosting F/A-18C life-extension rates, primarily due to delays in fielding the carrier-based Lockheed Martin F-35C.

Boeing has been trying desperately to shore up Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler production in St Louis, Missouri, but the company’s difficulty in securing international sales has raised doubts.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed gets $5.37 billion for F-35

By Christopher P. Cavas
November 4, 2015

WASHINGTON — With a preliminary agreement in hand, negotiations between Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon for the Joint Strike Fighter Lot IX Joint Strike low-rate initial production contract continue, and a final agreement is expected next month, JSF Joint Program Office spokesman Joe DellaVedova said Wednesday.

Under an “undefinitized contractual action” (UCA) agreed on Tuesday, $625 million in fiscal year 2015 money is being moved to Lockheed to cover company expenses spent thus far on the Lot IX aircraft. The full contract is being negotiated under a not-to-exceed limit of $5.37 billion.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Trump confuses B-3 with F-35

Trump Confuses Long Range Strike Bomber With F 35  VIDEO    The Daily CallerBy STEVE GUEST
November 5, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who claims to be the “the best in terms of the military,” confused the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program with the B-3 Long Range Strike Bomber program.

Radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump if America needs a strategic bomber or “should we just stick with submarines and missiles?” Trump then criticized the beleaguered F-35 program.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon Re-considers F-35 Buy

By ANA RADELAT
November 5, 2015

WASHINGTON — For years, the Pentagon was inflexible when talking about the number of F-35s it wants to buy — 2,443 — pushing back against any suggestions that it should trim that shopping list. But no more.

The high price tag of the F-35, a Lockheed Martin aircraft whose engine is made by Pratt & Whitney, based in East Hartford, Conn., has made some Pentagon officials consider whether the Defense Department can afford as many of the Joint Strike Fighters as they had once planned.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Trump wants to fire F-35

By Tyler Rogoway
October 30, 2015

Presidential candidate Donald Trump is finally offering some specifics when it comes to defense policy, and on conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt’s program today he floated the possibility of cancelling the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program if he gets elected.

According to the Air Force Times, Trump said: “When they say that this cannot perform as well as the planes we already have, what are [we] doing, and spending so much more money?” He continued, “I do hear that it’s not very good… I’m hearing that our existing planes are better. And one of the pilots came out of the plane, one of the test pilots, and said this isn’t as good as what we already have.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

UK to buy more F-35s

By Gareth Jennings
November 3, 2015

The United Kingdom has signed up for a further six operational Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, in addition to the four already contracted last year.

The six new F-35Bs form part of the Lot 9 production contract, which was awarded by the US Department of Defence (DoD) on 3 November. The UK had ordered its first four operational aircraft as part of the Lot 8 production contract announced in November 2014.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 fires gun for the first time

By Lara Seligman
November 2, 2015

WASHINGTON — For the first time, a US Air Force F-35 fighter jet has successfully fired its internal gun from the air.

The aerial gun test marks another milestone in the Pentagon’s effort to certify the F-35A’s internal 25mm Gatling gun. Lockheed Martin released avideo Monday of F-35 test pilot Maj. Charles “Flak” Trickey firing the first aerial gun burst from the four-barrel weapon.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed promotes F-35 Lead

By Lara Seligman
October 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — In a major leadership change for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, the company has promoted Lorraine Martin while naming her deputy to succeed her as F-35 lead.

Martin has been promoted to the newly created position of deputy executive vice president for mission systems and training, while Jeff Babione will succeed her as executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program, effective Jan. 1, Lockheed Martin announced Thursday.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Trump wants to Fire the F-35

By Phillip Swarts
October 30, 2015

Donald Trump wants to tell the F-35 that it’s fired.

The businessman and Republican presidential candidate questioned the wisdom of purchasing the joint strike fighter during an appearance on a conservative radio talk show Oct. 22.

“When they say that this cannot perform as well as the planes we already have, what are [we] doing, and spending so much more money?” Trump said during an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Helmet is Too Heavy

By Phillip Swarts
November 2, 2015

The F-35 helmet is back in the news again, after Defense News, sister publication of Air Force Times, reported that F-35 pilots weighing under 136 pounds have been grounded due to concerns with the plane’s ejection seat.

Tests showed that a lighterweight pilot’s neck could snap during an ejection at slow speeds. While the ejection-seat issue is separate from the helmet, there are concerns that the heavy headgear is contributing to the problem of neck injuries during ejections.

“What we found was if the pilot has a helmet on his head or her head and that helmet weighs more than 4.8 pounds, then the neck loads on that light-weight pilot — by a very little bit — exceed what we would consider to be perfectly safe,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office. “Today our helmets weigh about 5.4 pounds, so we’re talking about six ounces of weight to get out of the helmet,” Bogdan told the HouseArmed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces Oct. 21. “We need a lighter helmet, it’s as simple as that.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Airmen See Better Ways to Spend Scarce Resources

By Phillip Swarts
November 2, 2015

Questions about the cost of the F-35 helmet come at a time when budget pressures have forced the Air Force to make radical cuts to end strength, modernization and training. The result is a concern that more than half of the force is “not sufficiently ready” for highend battle, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said.

What’s more, due to forced drawdowns, airmen are struggling to keep up with the pace required to keep planes in the air after more than a dozen years of war.

The result is a weary force aching for a break. That’s led some airmen to look for expensive projects that siphon off the resources they could use to spread the workload, get the proper training — or just relax a bit.

[FULL ARTICLE]

McCain: Have to Reduce F-35 Total Buy

By Aaron Mehta
November 2, 2015

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain, R-Ariz., said Oct. 21 the U.S. will have to cut the numbers of F-35 fighter jets it will purchase.

In a brief comment to reporters, McCain seemed to signal that the total projected buy for the Pentagon’s most costly and ambitious program — 2,443 in total, spread across three models for the Air Force, Marines and Navy — is out of whack with budget realities. He said that cost growth in the program will mean fewer jets overall.

“We’re going to have to reduce the buy,” he said. “The number they are now quoting — there’s just not going to be that many.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Helmet Costs $400,000

By Phillip Swarts
November 2, 2015

When the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, finally takes to the skies on its first official mission, it will be one of the most advanced and one of the most expensive planes ever.

And the pilots flying the aircraft will be wearing the most advanced and most expensive helmet ever.

The helmet will give pilots quicker access to the information they need to see and has special cameras to “see” through the bottom of the plane. But it will cost an estimated $400,000 per helmet — more than four times as much as the Air Force paid for head wear for other aircraft such as the F-16.

Helmets for all the F-35s scheduled to be purchased will cost at least $1billion, Air Force Times estimates.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pilots praise survivability and stealth of F-35

By Phillip Swarts
October 5, 2015

Some pilots who have flown the F-35 Lightning II say its capabilities are “unmatched.”

“This is by far the easiest airplane I’ve ever flown in my life,” said Col. Todd Canterbury, chief of the F-35 Integration Office Operations Division, during a Sept. 18 showing of the aircraft at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

“What does that mean? That means that I can now focus on the battlefield, focus on the tactics at hand, rather than try to manipulate and fly the aircraft to where I need it to be,” Canterbury said. “The increased situational awareness that this brings increases my survivability on the battlefield. That’s really what it’s all about. It’s protecting the men and women that are going to fly these airplanes every single day and bringing themback home safely.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

AF to airmen: Defend the F-35

By Phillip Swarts
October 5, 2015

Air Force leaders are telling airmen to “explain why we need the F-35,” according to a leaked internal document from Secretary Deborah Lee James’ office.

The eight-page internal memo, marked “Not for Public Release,” gives airmen a step-by-step guide on how to “debunk false narratives and inaccuracies reflected in news media reporting” about the military’s controversial new plane.

[FULL ARTICLE]

AF tests ways to help F-35 survive in dogfights

By Phillip Swarts
October 5, 2015

Though designed for long-range engagements, there may be times when the F-35 Lightning II will be forced to get visual confirmation of a target, said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the head of Air Combat Command.

“Will there ever be a time where you’ll have to put your eyeball on somebody to make sure he’s what you think he is? There may well be,” Carlisle said during a Sept.18 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 ejection seat fears ground lightweight pilots

By Lara Seligman
October 12, 2015

Concerns about increased risk of injury to F-35 pilots during lowspeed ejections have prompted the military services to temporarily restrict pilots who weigh less than 136 pounds from flying the aircraft, Defense News, a sister publication of Air Force Times, has learned.

During August tests of the ejection seat, built by Martin-Baker, testers discovered an increased risk of neck injury when a lightweight pilot is flying at slower speeds. Until the problem is fixed, the services decided to restrict pilots weighing under 136 pounds from operating the plane, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, F-35 integration office director, told Defense News in a Sept. 29 interview.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Full-year CR could stifle modernization

By Lara Seligman
October 12, 2015

Top Air Force officials have continued to hammer home the message that if the Pentagon is forced to operate under a stopgap spending measure next year, the service’s ability to buy new aircraft and modernize its existing fleet is in peril.

Congress passed a 10-week continuing resolution Sept. 30 to keep the government operating until Dec. 11. But if the next step is a fullyear continuing resolution, the Air Force’s nightmares may come true.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed Martin contracted to deliver Block 3F software for F-35

By Gareth Jennings
September 1, 2015

Lockheed Martin has been contracted to deliver Block 3F software for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for the US and UK militaries.

The USD311.4 million contract announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 1 September covers delivery of the aircraft’s full combat software to the US Air Force (USAF) (46%), US Marine Corps (USMC) (27%), US Navy (20%), and the United Kingdom (7%). According to the notification, work is expected to be competed in September 2021.

The F-35’s software and capability blocks are broken down into Block 1A – initial training, Block 1B – advanced training 1, Block 2A – advanced training 2, Block 2B (initial combat capability), Block 3i (initial full capability), and Block 3F (full combat capability).

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed Martin, Roketsan to develop cruise missile for F-35s

By Richard Tomkins
Sept. 17, 2015

LONDON, Sept. 17 (UPI) — A mid-range standoff cruise missile for use on F-35 fighters is being developed by Lockheed Martin and its Turkish partner, Roketsan.

The SOM-J will feature GPS guidance, aided by inertial, terrain-referenced and image-based navigation systems and an imaging infrared seeker. It will be based on the SOM missile developed by the Defense Research and Development Institute of Turkey and operational with the Turkish Air Force.

[FULL ARTICLE]

The Department of Defence can neither close bases nor keep them working

THE cinema at Dyess Air Force Base, in central west Texas, is a splendid facility. It is entirely free for airmen and their families. Outside, there is a smart café selling snacks, sodas and, in the evenings, when children are not present, alcohol. Yet for more than two years, this centre for social life on the base sat empty, because it did not have the equipment to project films. Just a few months after the air force paid a hefty sum to refurbish the building, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the government-owned firm which ran the cinema, switched from analogue to digital distribution of films. When it did so, it decided it could not afford to buy a new digital projector for Dyess.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Norway, Australia Team To Upgrade Missile for F-35

By Lara Seligman
September 21, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas — Norway and Australia have minted a deal to develop a new seeker capability for the Joint Strike Missile, a core weapon planned for integration onto Norway’s F-35.

Under the Sept. 15 agreement, Australia will finance the development of a new RF-seeking capability, which will enable the missile to locate targets based on electronic signature. BAE Australia will develop and integrate the capability, according to a Sept. 21 statement from Norway’s Ministry of Defense.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Dutch MOD, P&W sign contract to stand up F135 maintenance site

BY: JAMES DREW
SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has formalised an agreement with Pratt & Whitney to establish an organic F135 engine maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) shop at the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s Woensdrecht Logistics Centre with the goal of supporting Lockheed Martin F-35 operations by 2019.

The depot at Woensdrecht Air Base currently maintains the Pratt-built F100 powerplant for the F-16 and is now preparing for the introduction of the F135-powered F-35.

[FULL ARTICLE]

 

Finmeccanica-Selex ES to provide F-35 targeting systems

By Michael Peck
September 21, 2015

Finmeccanica–Selex ES has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to provide advanced targeting lasers for the F-35.

Finmeccanica-Selex will supply 165 lasers for the F-35’s electro-optical targeting system (EOTS), according to a company news release.

“The laser, integrated into the EOTS, allows fighter aircraft crews to perform precision ranging and targeting functions,” Finmeccanica-Selex said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Italian KC-767 Air-To-Air Refueling Tests With F-35A

By Guy Norris
Sep 21, 2015

Aviation Week was invited to observe one of the final air-to-air refueling tests in the recently completed program to certify the Italian air force Boeing KC-767 tanker with the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-35A. Given the imminent flight of the first military-configured KC-46A Boeing tanker for the Air Force, the Italian testing also attracted wider interest as a useful preview of what to look out for when the U.S. begins tests of its own new tanker.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed Martin unveils first Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A

By Dario Leone
September 24, 2015

The aircraft, designated AM-1, represents an important production milestone for both the F-35 program and the Norwegian Armed Forces, where 52 Lightning IIs are expected to replace the Royal Norwegian Air Force ageing F-16s, bringing the country national defense into a new era.

Norwegian Minister of Defense, Her Excellency Ine Eriksen Søreide, who was the guest of honor at the event, remarked the importance of the Lightning II for the future of Norwegian Armed Forces. She pointed out in fact that, being a 5th generation aircraft, the F-35 is the only platform able to give Norway the capabilities to face future surface and airborne threats.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Norway’s Defence Review Underscores F-35 Commitment

By Lara Seligman
October 5, 2015

Norway’s ministry of defence is using a strategic defence review to push for significant funding increases for the country’s armed forces, as well as underscore the importance of the F-35 joint strike fighter to the Norwegian Air Force.

Presenting the review last week, Norwegian Chief of Defence Adm. Haakon Bruun-Hanssen reconfirmed Norway’s support for the F-35 program, saying he intends to stick to the full 52-aircraft buy. The F-35 provides a number of unique capabilities that no other platform can offer, Bruun-Hanssen said, according to an Oct. 2 statement from the Norwegian F-35 program office.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed considering laser weapon concepts for F-35

BY: JAMES DREW
OCTOBER 6, 2015

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 has not yet seen combat, but already the defence manufacturer is exploring “concepts” for installing and employing a high-power fibre laser weapon on the new-generation combat jet for shooting down missiles and other airborne threats.

The company believes it finally has the right technology to produce modular and scalable fibre laser weapons for trucks, ships and aircraft, and a high-power, 60kW example will enter production for the US Army later this month.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Northrop builds first F-35 centre fuselage for assembly in Japan

BY: JAMES DREW
OCTOBER 6, 2015

Northrop Grumman has built the first F-35 centre fuselage destined for Japan’s domestic joint strike fighter assembly plant, operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The company says the centre fuselage is the core of AX-5, Japan’s fifth example, and will become the first to enter Japan’s Nagoya final assembly and checkout plant instead of prime contractor Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lasers Could Be Coming To The F-35

BY PATRICK TUCKER
OCTOBER 6, 2015

Lockheed Martin’s new modular fiber lasers now convert fully 40 percent of input energy to output, which means that — along with advances in manufacturing, targeting, and size-weight-power minimization — the company’s now talking about putting a laser weapon on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“We are absolutely looking at concepts for integration,” Robert Afzal, the company’s senior fellow of laser systems and sensors, told reporters yesterday.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Alcoa supplying parts for military jets under $1.1B pact with Lockheed Martin

By Alex Nixon
Oct. 7, 2015

Alcoa Inc. landed a $1.1 billion contract to supply titanium parts to Lockheed Martin for the military’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet program.

Alcoa said the nine-year deal was enabled by its $1.5 billion acquisition of Moon-based titanium manufacturer RTI International Metals this year.

It’s the second high-profile win for Alcoa’s fast-growing parts manufacturing business this week. The company on Monday said it secured a $1 billion contract to supply fasteners to airplane maker Airbus.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Election Will Determine Canadian Role in F-35 Program

By David Pugliese
October 11, 2015

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Whether Canada withdraws from the F-35 program will be decided next week as Canadians select a new political party to form the country’s next government.

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau says if elected on Oct. 19, his government would remove Canada from the F-35 program and select a less costly aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18 fighter jets. The savings from such a move would be redirected into naval shipbuilding, according to Trudeau.

[FULL ARTICLE]

General Blasts A-10 vs. F-35 Debate as ‘Ludicrous’

By Richard Sisk
September 15th, 2015

Air Force Gen. Herbert. J. “Hawk” Carlisle said Tuesday the raging debate over whether the A-10 or the F-35 is better equipped to perform close air support was totally missing the point on the future of the mission.

“What we’ve got to talk about is how you do UCAS (unconventional close air support) better,” rather than which aircraft can do it better, the head of Air Combat Command said. “The discussion of what platform is going to replace the A-10 is ludicrous. We have to talk about how to do it better, and we do it better with technology.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Canada’s Liberals Against F-35 Purchase

Agence France-Presse
September 20, 2015

OTTAWA, Canada— Canada’s Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said on the campaign trail Sunday that he would scrap the purchase of F-35s — the apparent frontrunner to replace the nation’s aging fleet of fighter jets.

“We will not buy the F-35 fighter jet,” he told a rally in Halifax ahead of Oct. 19 elections.

Taking Lockheed Martin’s F35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters off the table would leave Ottawa with three options: the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale and Boeing’s Super Hornet.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Kendall: Canadian Suppliers Will Continue To Support F-35

By Lara Seligman
September 23, 2015

FORT WORTH, Texas — Amid renewed questions about Canada’s commitment to the F-35 fighter jet, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official said the Canadian supply base will remain an essential part of the program, even if the nation does not buy the aircraft.

“I believe those suppliers are part of the team, I don’t see any reason why they would not continue to be part of the team whether Canada [buys jets] or not,” Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition, told reporters here during a ceremony to celebrate the roll out of Norway’s first F-35. “We make our decisions on participation based on best value, and if Canadian firms are still best value, then they will be part of the program.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Increase Air Force budget or face consequences: Column

By Deborah Lee James
September 25, 2015

At a time when our nation is slashing defense budgets, we face a security environment that is extraordinarily complex and volatile, and our Air Force is busier than ever.

Over the last year, 25,000 Airmen deployed in support of contingencies around the world. They flew almost 20,000 close air support missions and dropped over 3,800 bombs with a 99% hit rate. Airmen flew more than 100,000 mobility and tanker sorties offloading almost 200 million gallons of fuel to joint and coalition forces and performed over 900 medical evacuations, including critical lifesaving surgeries in flight. Airmen collected and analyzed 18 million images and 1.6 million hours of video garnered by our air patrols, performed over 9,000 cyber operations protecting critical networks and launched 11 space missions.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Baloney Meter: Will cancelling F-35 ‘crater’ the Canadian aerospace industry?

By The Canadian Press
September 22, 2015

OTTAWA — “He’s not giving shipbuilding anything; he’s merely talking about cratering our aerospace industry, which is, as I say, bad policy…. I don’t understand where they’re going with this.” — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s promise to scrap the F-35 stealth fighter program and channel the savings into naval shipbuilding.

One of the cornerstones of the Liberal defence policy is to formally opt out of the Conservative government’s plan to acquire 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of 1980s vintage CF-18s.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Lockheed considering laser weapon concepts for F-35

BY: JAMES DREW
OCTOBER 5, 2015

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 has not yet seen combat, but already the defence manufacturer is exploring “concepts” for installing and employing a high-power fibre laser weapon on the new-generation combat jet for shooting down missiles and other airborne threats.

The company believes it finally has the right technology to produce modular and scalable fibre laser weapons for trucks, ships and aircraft, and a high-power, 60kW example will enter production for the US Army later this month

[FULL ARTICLE]

Election Will Determine Canadian Role in F-35 Program

By David Pugliese
October 11, 2015

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Whether Canada withdraws from the F-35 program will be decided next week as Canadians select a new political party to form the country’s next government.

Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau says if elected on Oct. 19, his government would remove Canada from the F-35 program and select a less costly aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18 fighter jets. The savings from such a move would be redirected into naval shipbuilding, according to Trudeau.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Competition in Canadian fighter jet project would benefit taxpayers, industry, says former procurement chief

By DAVID PUGLIESE
October 4, 2015

On Sept. 24 Richard Shimooka had an opinion piece in the National Post arguing that the F-35 is still the best bet for Canada. He stated that a competition would be a costly and largely pointless process “with the outcome likely to be the reselection of the F-35.”

 

Alan Williams, who signed the original MOU committing Canada to the research and development aspect of the F-35 disagrees.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Pentagon Testing Office Calls Foul on F-35B “Operational Test”

By: Mandy Smithberger and Dan Grazier
September 14, 2015

The Marine Corps triumphantly declared its variant of the F-35 combat ready in late July. In the public relations build-up, the recent demonstration of its performance on the USS Wasp was heralded as a rebuttal to the program’s critics. But a complete copy of a recent memo from the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E)—obtained by the Project On Government Oversight through the Freedom of Information Act—reveals that a number of maintenance and reliability problems “are likely to present significant near-term challenges for the Marine Corps.”

The Marine Corps named this demonstration “Operational Test One,” but it turns out it wasn’t actually an operational test, “in either a formal or an informal sense of the term.” To count as an operational test, conditions should closely match realistic combat conditions. But DOT&E found the demonstration “did not—and could not—demonstrate that Block 2B F-35B is operationally effective or suitable for use in any type of limited combat operation, or that it was ready for real-world operational deployments, given the way the event was structured.”

[FULL ARTICLE]

Comparison tests to pit A-10 Warthog vs. new F-35 fighter

One of the biggest battles between Congress and the Pentagon during the past year has been over a snub-nosed grunt of an airplane, a jet so ugly (and fierce) it’s nicknamed the “Warthog.”

It is beloved by the troops, particularly those who have been saved when the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and its huge 30mm cannon, swooped in to save them in combat.

[FULL ARTICLE]

 

Carlisle: F-35s won’t dogfight, F-22s will

By Phillip Swarts
September 16, 2015

The F-35 Lightning II will excel at air interdiction, but was not created to engage in visual dogfights, according to Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the head of Air Combat Command.

The general’s comments at the annual Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference came in response to a series of reports that have criticized the F-35’s inability to win dogfights with current fourth-generation aircraft.

[FULL ARTICLE]

China’s Copycat Jet Raises Questions About F-35

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
SEPTEMBER 23, 2015

New technical specs about China’s new J-31 fighter, a plane designed to rival the American-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, popped up on a Chinese blog last week. So who has the advantage — the U.S. or China?

[FULL ARTICLE]

The F-35 Is Still the Worst Military Investment Ever

BY CHARLES P. PIERCE
October 1, 2015

​It’s been a while since we checked in on the F-35, the Flying Swiss Army Knife, which may be a floor wax or a dessert topping, but which sure as hell isn’t an viable aircraft, but is one of the epic money pits of all time, even by Pentagon standards, which are higher than the plane thus far has been able to get off the ground. How are things going, anyway?

China’s twin-engine design bears a striking resemblance to the single-jet F-35. Still, the Joint Strike Fighter is expected to fly slightly farther and carry a heavier load of weapons, according to the data, which was first reported by Jane’s.

[FULL ARTICLE]

More Bad News for the F-35, the Plane That Ate the Pentagon

BY JONATHAN BRODER
September 30, 2015

The warplanes took off vertically, dipping and diving as they intercepted enemy aircraft, suppressed enemy fire and supported troops on the ground. Then they landed on the deck of an amphibious assault ship, in the same way they took off: vertically.

For 10 days in May off the coast of Virginia, a half dozen F-35 fighter jets tested their capabilities under what military officials called real world combat conditions. The Pentagon was trying to see if the Marine Corps’ version of the next-generation fighter plane—its most expensive weapons project ever—was ready for battle. In July, after analyzing the test results, Marine Commandant General Joseph Dunsford triumphantly declared that it was.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Ten Things You Should Know About the Air Force’s F-35 Propaganda Effort

By Tony Carr
Sept 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — Recently, the Air Force’s F-35 program has been facing fresh skepticism and new scrutiny. Interestingly, it’s not the program’s trillion-dollar price tag, dubious design, or stunted development raising new doubts, but something more fundamental: senior officials speaking for the program are hemorrhaging public credibility with transparently desperate misrepresentations aimed at putting a positive face on a failing program.

Media, members of Congress, thought leaders, and even airmen themselves are growing uncomfortable with the risks lurking in the program, notwithstanding endless streams of reassuring propaganda, much of it paid for with public funds.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Fatal Ejection Fear Riles Congress

By Lara Seligman
October 5, 2015

WASHINGTON — Concern is mounting on Capitol Hill after recent tests revealed a lightweight F-35 pilot’s neck could snap when ejecting at certain speeds.

The fears focus on the Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat. During testing of the new Generation 3 helmet this summer, testers discovered the risk of fatal neck injury when a lighter pilot ejects during slower-speed flights, according to a source with knowledge of the program. Testers discovered the ejection snapped the necks of lighter-weight test dummies, the source said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Newsweek and Washington Post Pick Up POGO’s F-35B Story

By: Daniel Van Schooten
October 5, 2015

Newsweek has followed The Washington Post in picking up our important story regarding the operational readiness of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. Though declared to be operational, the plane was not tested in real-world combat scenarios. The deck had been cleared, critical onboard systems had not been installed, and various other factors combined to make the test easier to pass. Used as more of a publicity stunt than any confirmation of actual combat readiness, the declaration of operational readiness is misleading.

[FULL ARTICLE]

F-35 Fatal Ejection Fear Riles Congress

By Lara Seligman
October 5, 2015

WASHINGTON — Concern is mounting on Capitol Hill after recent tests revealed a lightweight F-35 pilot’s neck could snap when ejecting at certain speeds.

The fears focus on the Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat. During testing of the new Generation 3 helmet this summer, testers discovered the risk of fatal neck injury when a lighter pilot ejects during slower-speed flights, according to a source with knowledge of the program. Testers discovered the ejection snapped the necks of lighter-weight test dummies, the source said.

[FULL ARTICLE]

USAF: Expanded Risk of Neck Damage to F-35 Pilots

By Lara Seligman
October 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — Weeks after Defense News revealed that the military services had restricted lightweight pilots from flying the F-35 joint strike fighter, the US Air Force officially acknowledged an increased risk of neck damage during ejection to middleweight pilots as well.

In a news release issued Oct. 16, the Air Force confirmed a Defense News report that pilots under 136 pounds are currently barred from flying the fifth-generation aircraft, expected to be the backbone of American airpower for decades to come. It also acknowledged an “elevated level of risk” for pilots between 136 and 165 pounds.

[FULL ARTICLE]

 

Cost of F-35 Mentioned on The Ring Of Fire

The cost of the F-35 starts at the 6:10 minute point.

Vago’s Notebook: F-35 Progress

The challenges tend to obscure progress for major programs like the joint strike fighter, but the JSF has been on a winning streak.

[FULL VIDEO]

Canada’s Liberals Against F-35 Purchase

By Agence France-Presse
September 20, 2015

OTTAWA, Canada— Canada’s Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said on the campaign trail Sunday that he would scrap the purchase of F-35s — the apparent frontrunner to replace the nation’s aging fleet of fighter jets.

“We will not buy the F-35 fighter jet,” he told a rally in Halifax ahead of Oct. 19 elections.

Taking Lockheed Martin’s F35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters off the table would leave Ottawa with three options: the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Dassault Rafale and Boeing’s Super Hornet.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Increase Air Force budget or face consequences: Column

By Deborah Lee James
September 25, 2015

At a time when our nation is slashing defense budgets, we face a security environment that is extraordinarily complex and volatile, and our Air Force is busier than ever.

Over the last year, 25,000 Airmen deployed in support of contingencies around the world. They flew almost 20,000 close air support missions and dropped over 3,800 bombs with a 99% hit rate. Airmen flew more than 100,000 mobility and tanker sorties offloading almost 200 million gallons of fuel to joint and coalition forces and performed over 900 medical evacuations, including critical lifesaving surgeries in flight. Airmen collected and analyzed 18 million images and 1.6 million hours of video garnered by our air patrols, performed over 9,000 cyber operations protecting critical networks and launched 11 space missions.

[FULL ARTICLE]

Court’s Decision Ignores Serious Health Impacts – Allows Harmful “Growler” Jet Operations

By Port O Call
Aug 13, 2015

Seattle, WA Citizens claiming to be harmed by the Navy’s low-level flight operations expressed disappointment, but not surprise at U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly’s denial of their Motion for an Injunction. The Citizens of the Ebey’s Reserve (COER) sought to halt the harmful F-18 “Growler” over-flights until a required Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

“We believe the judge’s decision flies in the face of the facts and common sense,” said Maryon Attwood, COER board member. “It allows the loudest jets ever built to fly low over homes and places of business while emitting hazardous levels of noise. These flights will be allowed to continue even before the Navy completes a required Environmental Impact Study to assess the harms done to people and the environment,” she added.

[Full Article]

After sprawl threatened relocation, plan to keep Oceana deemed a success

By John Holland
August 19, 2015

Predictions of doom bounced around City Hall in the summer of 2005 and landed on the front page in bold, desperate headlines. People were scared, and for good reason.

Oceana Naval Air Station and its 12,000 jobs were on the Defense Department’s critical list, threatened with closure in large part because the surrounding area had become too residential, too commercial and, ultimately, too dangerous: too dangerous for the fighter pilots who practiced landings and maneuvers that they’d use fighting two wars, and too dangerous for the residents who could be wiped out if anything went wrong on those training missions.

[Full Article]

County should approve ‘navigator’ to protect D-M

Arizona Daily Star
August 9, 2015

OUR VIEW: Appointee would advocate for area, be point person on military matters

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will consider a new economic development plan at its Tuesday meeting. Within the plan’s 14 chapters is an item that will help our community strengthen its connection to Davis- Monthan Air Force Base, the Air Force and other military operations.

The proposal to create a ‘navigator’ position as our area’s point person on military matters, similar to what other communities have done, should be approved. Our region must be forward-thinking in how we can work to protect D-M as the A-10 fighter jets are phased out and national military leaders seek to close bases.

[Full Article]

Arizona military sites may be protected by expanded public land management

by Eric Jay Toll
Jul 31, 2015

Buffering most military sites in Arizona is a banner of public land. The extra space helps preserve the multi-billion boost to the Arizona economy the military bases bring home.

Protecting the public land and military facilities has mutual benefits, according to a study by the Sonoran Institute. The organization is taking its findings to the public to help spread the word and encourage steps to maintaining both the public lands and the Arizona defense economy.

[Full Article]

F-117 Stealth Fighter Back in the Sky

By David Axe
August 24, 2015

The U.S. Air Force officially retired its 52 surviving F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters in 2008, transferring their radar-evading attack mission to B-2 bombers, F-22s and — eventually — F-35s.

The Air Force claimed it would preserve the F-117s for future use, but it’s possible most of the Nighthawks actually wound up in a landfill inside the Air Force’s highly secure Tonopah Test Range in Nevada. But the flying branch has held on to at least two of the sensor-dodging F-117s, which first entered service in the early 1980s.

[Full Article]

First F-35 refueling by KC-767 Tanker

By: JAMES DREW
Aug 6, 2015

Italy’s F-35 programme has passed a key test, with an Italian Air Force KC-767A taker refuelling aLockheed Martin F-35A for the first time.

The milestone comes as Italy prepares to flight test its first domestically-assembled F-35A, which rolled off the Cameri assembly line in March and will eventually be flown to the US to support pilot training at Luke AFB in Arizona.

The joint strike fighter top-up took place 29 July over Edwards AFB in California, with 25 boom contacts and 7,259kg (16,000lb) of fuel offloaded to the US Air Force F-35 (AF-4).

[Full Article]

F-35 Court Hearing on Public Health Risk in Vermont

By ERIN MANSFIELD
AUG. 24 2015

RUTLAND — A group of Vermonters continued to battle the scheduled deployment of next-generation fighter jets to the Vermont Air National Guard base in federal court Monday.

Thousands have told the U.S. Air Force during a public comment period in 2013 that basing the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport in South Burlington would create noise problems in the state’s most densely populated area.

[Full Article]

Military Operations Damage Communities and Environment

By Steven Aftergood
Aug.11, 2015

The environmental impacts of military operations are increasingly becoming factors in the planning and execution of military activities.

“The military has a new appreciation for the interdependence between military missions, the global community, and the environment,” according to a newly revised and reissued Army doctrinal manual. See Environmental Considerations, ATP 3-34.5, August 10, 2015.

Of course, military operations by their nature are not environment-friendly. “The primary mission of the military is to fight and win wars. Warfare is destructive to humans and to the natural environment.”

[Full Article]

After sprawl threatened relocation, plan to keep Oceana deemed a success

By John Holland
August 19, 2015

Predictions of doom bounced around City Hall in the summer of 2005 and landed on the front page in bold, desperate headlines. People were scared, and for good reason.

Oceana Naval Air Station and its 12,000 jobs were on the Defense Department’s critical list, threatened with closure in large part because the surrounding area had become too residential, too commercial and, ultimately, too dangerous: too dangerous for the fighter pilots who practiced landings and maneuvers that they’d use fighting two wars, and too dangerous for the residents who could be wiped out if anything went wrong on those training missions.

[Full Article]

Lockheed Received $431 million to support F-35 Production Ramp Up

By: JAMES DREW
Aug 5, 2015

Lockheed Martin has received $431 million for special tooling and test equipment to support the ramp up of F-35 production over the coming years.

The hefty sum was awarded as a modification to the current Lot 8 production contract, and comes as Lockheed and the Pentagon negotiate the purchase of approximately 150 domestic and international aircraft in Lots 9 and 10.

[Full Article]

More F-35 Training Systems Ordered from Cubic Global Defense

By Richard Tomkins
Aug. 20, 2015

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Cubic Global Defense is to produce and enhance the Air Combat Training System in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the company has announced.

Included in the work contracted by Lockheed Martin Aerospace is the addition of an internally mounted sub-system of the P5 Combat Training System, or P5CTS, that enables the F-35 to maintain its stealth characteristics while training.

[Full Article]

Pentagon denies F-35 numbers

By Aaron Mehta
August 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is not conducting a formal review of F-35 planned procurement numbers, a spokesman said Tuesday, despite comments by the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that indicate otherwise.

In written testimony for his nomination hearing last month, Gen. Joe Dunford seemed to signal that a review of the total projected buy of the F-35 — 2,443 in total, spread across three models for the Air Force, Marines and Navy — was underway.

[Full Article]

A-10 Standoff commentary

By John Michael Loh
August 10, 2015

The best way to resolve the interminable A-10 retirement debate is to satisfy both sides with a solution that eliminates the operational and economic arguments driving it.

The primary vocal critics of the Air Force decision to retire the A-10 close-support aircraft are Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and freshman Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz. All three have strong ties to the A-10. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, is home to the largest A-10 base. Closure of the base would have serious economic impact. Ayotte’s husband is a formerA-10 pilot. McSally flew A-10s in the Air Force.

[Full Article]

Leaked F-35 Report Confirms Deficiencies

By: Mandy Smithberger and Dan Grazier
July 27, 2015

A new leaked test, which was first exposed by War is Boring, provides more evidence that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s demonstrated performance is inferior to the current fighters it is designed to replace. Specifically, the report finds that, in a series of 17 dogfights, the F-35 was consistently outmatched by an aging F-16.

An F-35A test pilot with extensive dogfighting experience in F-16s and F-15s wrote the report, detailing his cockpit observations during the January 2015 maneuvering combat tests of the F-35 against a 30-year-old F-16 at Edwards Flight Test Center in California. The report, marked for official use only (FOUO), highlighted serious concerns about the plane’s performance in this key mission.

[Full Article]

Congress must re-evaluate F-35 in light of deficiencies

By: Iulia Gheorghiu
July 28, 2015

A Project On Government Oversight (POGO) analysis of the F-35’s capabilities describes how the fighter can’t perform one of its key advertised missions—a failure that POGO says should prompt Congress and the Pentagon to conduct a complete re-evaluation of the $1.4 trillion program.

POGO’s analysis, which relied on a recent report by an F-35 test pilot, provides more evidence that the F-35’s demonstrated performance is inferior to the current fighters it is designed to replace. Specifically, the test pilot’s report, which was first cited by War is Boring, finds that, in a series of 17 dogfights, the F-35 was consistently outmatched by an aging F-16.

[Full Article]

A-10 versus the F-35

By Anthony Capaccio
August 27, 2015

Opponents of U.S. Air Force efforts to retire its A-10 have said the 40-year-old close-air support plane can outperform the Pentagon’s most advanced aircraft.

It turns out the lumbering old plane, nicknamed the Warthog, will get a chance to prove it.

The Air Force’s top general and the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester confirmed Thursday that Lockheed Martin Corp.’s new F-35 fighter, equipped with its most modern software, will be tested against the A-10 in 2018 in a comparative evaluation of their capabilities for close-air support, as well as other missions such as air-to-air combat.

[Full Article]

F-35 vs. the A-10

By Christian Davenport
August 27, 2015

One of the biggest battles between Congress and the Pentagon over the past year has been over a snub-nosed grunt of an airplane, a jet so ugly (and fierce) it’s nicknamed the “Warthog.” It is beloved by the troops, particularly those who have been saved when the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and its huge 30 mm cannon, swooped in to save them in combat.

But despite the aircraft’s revered status, the Air Force has said it has no choice but to retire the fleet at a time of budget constraints. The A-10, officials have said, is designed for a single purpose—taking out enemy ground troops at such close range—a mission that could be taken over by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s $400 billion next-generation fighter jet.

[Full Article]

The most expensive weapon in history must get more affordable – The Boston Globe

By The Editorial Board
July 30, 2015

THINKING BIG doesn’t always pay, especially when it comes to military procurement. Complex, aspirational weapons systems are irresistible to military brass, because they keep budget dollars flowing for years on end. Members of Congress like them too, especially when they can locate a manufacturing facility inside their district.

But weapons systems with too many new bells and whistles get mired in cost overruns, delays, and technical challenges. All too often, they take so long to develop that they are no longer cutting edge when they come on line. That’s the case with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a state-of-the-art radar-eluding plane set to take to the skies this month after several years of delay. The plane, which was commissioned in 2001, has been beset with engine problems, software glitches, and flaws in its fuel system. Each issue that had to be fixed drove up the cost. Today, the F-35 costs roughly twice what the US military thought it would back in 2001.

[Full Article]

Serious Air Combat Deficiencies in F-35

By Dan Grazier and Mandy Smithberger
July 27, 2015

A new leaked test, which was first exposed by War is Boring, provides more evidence that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s demonstrated performance is inferior to the current fighters it is designed to replace. Specifically, the report finds that, in a series of 17 dogfights, the F-35 was consistently outmatched by an aging F-16.

An F-35A test pilot with extensive dogfighting experience in F-16s and F-15s wrote the report, detailing his cockpit observations during the January 2015 maneuvering combat tests of the F-35 against a 30-year-old F-16 at Edwards Flight Test Center in California. The report, marked for official use only (FOUO), highlighted serious concerns about the plane’s performance in this key mission.

[Full Article]

Last manned fighter

By Gareth Jennings
July 27, 2015

With the US Marine Corps set to declare initial operating capability for its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) before the end of July, many are again asking if there will ever be another manned fighter, or if the JSF truly is the last of its kind.

The history of military aviation is littered with false predictions pertaining to the demise of the traditional notion of the fighter aircraft. In the United States the Vought F-8 Crusader developed in the mid-1950s was nicknamed ‘the last gunslinger’ in the mistaken belief that all fighters to follow would carry missiles only.

[Full Article]

F-35 Reliability Found Wanting

by Anthony Capaccio
July 28, 2015

The Marine Corps’ version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter demonstrated poor reliability in a 12-day exercise at sea, according to the U.S. military’s top testing officer.

Six F-35Bs, the most complex version of the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, were available for flights only half of the time needed, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational testing, said in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. A Marine Corps spokesman said the readiness rate was more than 65 percent.

[Full Article]

China and Russia could destroy F-35 battle

By Malcolm Davis
July 26, 2015

After the leaking of a report about the recent failure of an F-35 to win in a dogfight against an F-16D, debate has intensified about the future nature of air to air combat. In a recent Strategist post, Andrew Davies identifies the importance of combining long-range air-to-air engagement using ‘Beyond-Visual Range Air to Air Missiles’ (BVRAAMs), with the advantage bestowed by stealth technology to reduce detectability of the aircraft, as well as exploiting superior sensors, information processing and electronic warfare capability.

Davies also notes that it is yet to be demonstrated how effective these capabilities will be in a future operational environment, stating “…there are reasons to wonder how effective the F-35’s bag of tricks will be into the future, especially as counter-stealth systems evolve, and I’d like to see it carry more and longer-ranged weapons…” Clearly the F-35 was designed to undertake a particular approach to air-to-air combat in mind (long-range attacks) rather than close-in dogfighting. This highlights a key question that is now generating significant debate: “Are our current assumptions about future air combat—that BVR engagement will dominate and ‘dogfights’ have had their day
“—correct?

[Full Article]

Warplanes Produce Deadly Noise

By Dahr Jamail, Truthout
July 27, 2015

“This is a public health emergency that is literally killing people.”

This stark, shocking warning about the US Navy’s war-gaming in the Pacific Northwest comes from Dr. James Dahlgren, a doctor of occupational and environmental medicine who is also a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

He spoke with Truthout about how Navy warplanes flying in and out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, as well as the Navy’s OLF [Outlying Field] Coupeville in Washington State’s Puget Sound, are generating chronic exposure to noise levels well in excess of 80 decibels.

[Full Article]

 

Secretary of the Air Force acknowledges wide range of problems with the F-35

By Richard Sisk
Jul 28, 2015

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has admitted to a wide range of past and present problems with the F-35 while maintaining that the fifth-general will eventually guarantee the U.S. continued air supremacy over rivals.

“The biggest lesson I have learned from the F-35 is never again should we be flying an aircraft while we’re building it,” James said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado last week.

[Full Article]

Marine Corp declares F-35B Operational

By Aaron Mehta
July 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — In a milestone for the F-35 joint strike fighter, the US Marine Corps today declared the F-35B jump-jet model to have achieved initial operational capability (IOC).

The news means that the Marines consider the F-35B model – one of three designs of the multi-role fighter — to be an active plane that can perform in operations the same way any other active aircraft in its arsenal can.

[Full Article]

Military Carbon Footprint

By Lisa Savage
July 12, 2015

I oppose wars and militarism of policing because they are morally wrong. People suffer from state-sponsored violence in their lives and I do not want to fund it, tolerate it or ignore it.

But “join me in opposing war because it is wrong” is not a very effective message in these times.

One must counter immense spending on propaganda constantly persuading fellow citizens that investment in weapons of mass destruction, and basing an economy on “security” and surveillance, makes everyone safer. Along with regularly orchestrated (and well-funded) terror events and squads designed to keep fear high.

[Full Article]

Okinawins pay residents for military aircraft noise

June 11, 2015

The Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court ordered the government on Thursday to pay some ¥754 million in damages to residents near the Futenma air base because of aircraft noise.

Some 2,200 plaintiffs who live close to the controversial U.S. base in Ginowan complained of mental distress, poor sleep and disruption to their daily lives.

[Full Article]

New F-35 Radar

By Joe Zieja
July 19, 2015

EGLIN AFB, Fla. — Lockheed Martin has announced a new, cutting-edge technology that will be outfitted in future iterations of the F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. The new technology, code-named “radar” may allow the fifth-generation fighter to spot other objects in the sky.

“It’s like, these beams, see?” Lauren Ramirez, spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin said during a press conference that announced the space-age technology. “And they shoot out of an invisible cannon at the nose of the aircraft. And they bounce back, and then something catches them and reads them — like two guys throwing a paper airplane back and forth, but the paper airplane has the locations of stuff in the sky on them. It’s really neat.”

[Full Article]

F-35 Flight Test Failure

By Eric Pianin
July 10, 2015

For more than a dozen years, the Pentagon has steadfastly stood behind the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program as the next generation of jet fighters for the Air Force, Navy, and Marines, despite nightmarish development problems and daunting cost overruns.

The overall cost of developing and purchasing the jets currently is projected at $400 billion, while operating and maintenance costs could boost the overall price tag to nearly $1.5 trillion in the coming years. Lockheed Martin has weathered a vast array of design problems, most recently concerns over software and its computer system’s vulnerability.

[Full Article]

Is the F-35 worth the cost?

By Zachary Cohen
July 16, 2015

Three years behind schedule and some $200 billion over its original budget, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is finally set to become operational this month.

The fighter jet has been in development for nearly 15 years, weathered half a dozen years of testing and experienced myriad hardware malfunctions and software glitches along the way. Once it’s declared ready for combat, it will be the most expensive weapons system in world history.

[Full Article]

Pentagon to purchase $47 billion F-35

By the Motley Fool
July 12, 2015

For all its troubles, Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE:LMT) F-35 joint stealth fighter remains a very popular warplane — both here and abroad.

Over the next 60 years, Lockheed Martin aims to sell as many as 5,100 F-35s to customers around the globe. And as we just learned from DoDBuzz, one single Pentagon contract could bring Lockheed 10% of the way toward scoring that goal.

What’s the buzz? In the course of last month’s Paris Airshow, reports DoDBuzz, Lockheed revealed that it’s currently negotiation with the U.S. Pentagon to win an order for 500 F-35 stealth fighter jets. This “block buy” of fighter jets would cover more planes than the Pentagon needs right now. In fact, it would stretch across three years’ worth of orders, from 2018 through 2021.

[Full Article]

F-35 pilot unimpressed

By Tyler Rogoway
July 13, 2015

F-35 pilot Maj. John Wilson is back in the second part of his interview with our friends at Krigeren.dk. This time the conversation moved from the F-35’s capabilities, especially those as a close air support platform, to the jet’s much-touted half a million dollar helmet with quasi-X-Ray vision, a feature the Major seems less than impressed with.

The Major’s lackluster enthusiasm for the technology is understandable. Clearly, it still has a long way to go to be fully integrated into the F-35’s concept of operations and the clarity of the F-35’s Distributed Aperture System, which has been a major sticking point in the past, along with the aircraft’s Electro Optical Targeting System (EOTS), remains a major issue.

[Full Article]

F-35 to participate in WI airshow

By Meg Jones
July 18, 2015

The military’s long-awaited, years-in-development F-35 fighter jet will roar across the skies of Oshkosh this week in its first civilian U.S. air show appearance.

Military aircraft have long been a staple at EAA AirVenture, but this year visitors can see the brand-new F-35 Lightning II as well as rare World War II planes such as a Royal Air Force de Havilland Mosquito and a Canadian Lancaster bomber, which will take part in commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

[Full Article]

F-35 Update from Colonel Greco (July 2015)

F-35 UPDATE:  Help crossing the finish line

Dear F-35 activists,

I’m writing to ask your help in crossing the finish line and completing the job many of you started back in 2010 opposing the basing of the F-35A in the midst of our residential communities.  We have been phenomenally successful, and the end of our struggle is almost in sight.

While we were unable to convince our elected officials, we DID convince the U. S. Air Force.  They were about to choose another base, until Leahy forced them to select us.  It is deplorable that despite overwhelming evidence that basing the F-35A in the Burlington area will result in grave harm to the people living near the airport, Senators Leahy and Sanders, and Representative Welsh favored the military-industrial-political complex over the people of Vermont!

So, we took legal action — perhaps not the course most of us would have chosen – but it was the only viable option available to us.  Fortunately, we have the highly respected lawyer Jim Dumont, who is working for us at a reduced rate.  Jim has developed strong arguments and strategies.  Our case is powerful, and we have a good chance of winning.  Let me explain why.

We have two ongoing lawsuits.  The first was filed against the City of Burlington for failing to have the F-35A basing reviewed under Vermont’s Act 250.  Our case was appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court, where the judges ruled against us.  But in an unprecedented move, one of the judges wrote a separate document saying (in lay-terms) that they sympathized with us; but had to rule against us, as they believe Federal government rights trump states rights, BUT that we have a good chance of winning a lawsuit if we sue under the Public Nuisance statute.  (See link below)

However, this loss was actually a win in that it gave us an incredible opportunity.

Jim Dumont was able to convince a prestigious Washington, DC legal firm, which specializes in arguing cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, to take our case – pro bonoWOW!  It is hard to over-emphasize the significance of this.  This firm routinely argues cases before the Supreme Court, and wins.  Their legal fees for a typical case are in the $350,000 range.

And, while it is astounding that they are going to handle our case pro bono, equally amazing is the fact that legal firms of this high caliber don’t take cases pro bono unless they think they can win the case.  DOUBLE WOW!   It gets even better.  Representing us before the U.S. Supreme Court is David Frederick — a former assistant U.S. Solicitor General, an expert in federal preemption law, and someone who has tried over 40 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.  He will be assisted by a team of lawyers at the Supreme Court Clinic of the University of Texas Law School. Each of these lawyers has served as a clerk to a U.S. Supreme Court justice.  To say the least, this represents an unusually high level of experience and expertise in matters before the Supreme Court.

Our second lawsuit against the Air Force is ongoing.  Jim identified nine counts in which the Air Force in its Environmental Impact Statement violated requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.  We expect the judge to rule on our case later this year.  And, our success in getting the City of Winooski to join the lawsuit against the Air Force will definitely help.

And, we’ve had more than just legal successes.  A few months ago, over 45 members of our local clergy signed a letter and about 20 of them held a press conference, urging our elected officials to re-think their support for the F-35A basing.

But, wait… there’s morewe received more national media attention.  In January, Al Jazeera America came to Burlington to cover our story, and they broadcast it on their “America Tonight” show on 14 May.  “America Tonight” is a half-hour news program like 60 Minutes, during which they report on two or three stories.  Our story led the broadcast, and took up half of the show that night.  (See link below)

All of this looks very promising…and the end is in sight.  You have done so much with your voices and letters and demonstrations.  But, the time for that is over.  What we need now is money.

To date we have raised over $75,000 in donations from a lot of individuals of modest means.  Your generosity has allowed us to pay all of our bills and legal fees.  Jim estimates that his costs for the rest of this year are between $25,000 and $35,000 depending on whether the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear our case.

In order to complete what we have started, and win this struggle for justice in our community, we need your donations now.  If you are able, please increase the amount you have given in the past.  And, remember donations are tax deductible Donate at www.stopthef35.com.   Or send a check made out to “Stop the F-35” to  The Peace and Justice Center, 60 Lake St, #1C, Burlington, VT  05401-4417.

Victory is in front of us.  We are approaching the finish line.  Your dollars can help us cross it.  Let’s stop the F-35 FOR GOOD!

Colonel Rosanne M. Greco, USAF (retired)

Link to the Al Jazeera America report:

AF to use Reserves as F-35 Maintainers

By Brian Everstine
July 9, 2015

The Air Force plans to turn to the Air Force Reserve for manpower to bring the F-35 online after Congress blocked the service’s attempt to free up maintainers through retirement of the A-10, the head of Air Force Reserve Command said Tuesday.

“The active duty has a pretty significant shortage in maintainers, and keeping the A-10 means that those maintainers will have to stay with those [units] and not be able to retrain,” Lt. Gen. James Jackson said at an Air Force Association speech in Arlington, Virginia.

[Full Article]

F-35 Can’t Dogfight Well

By LEE FERRAN
July 1, 2015

The makers of one of the most expensive weapons programs in history went on the defensive today, saying a recent report on the F-35 fighter jet’s failures in old-school dogfighting against a decades-old, much cheaper legacy fighter “does not tell the whole story.”

The report in question, posted on the national security news website War Is Boring, was based on an internal five-page brief in which an F-35 test pilot wrote a scathing criticism of the next-generation jet’s abilities in a January dogfight with an F-16, one of the planes the F-35 is designed to replace. Essentially, the pilot reportedly wrote, the F-35 was no match for the F-16 in close-up, high maneuvering fighting — whether the F-35 was trying to get the F-16 in its sights or trying to evade the F-16’s mock weapons.

[Full Article]

F-16 midair crash with small plane

“Military aircraft usually are involved in at least one mishap a month on average, military aviation which is relatively safe can still be dangerous especially for the fighter community no matter how sophisticated an aircraft can be.”

— Facebook comment from Christopher Bucy, USAF Air Transportation

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“The point of my initial statement is that the DoD needs to investigate why military aircraft are having so many mishaps. This as you stated is almost a monthly occurrence. Billions of dollars are spent on these aircraft and millions to train the pilots. F-16s, F-22s and the Chinook helicopter are plagued with problems.

The government recalled millions of cars because of a handful of faulty air bags yet they are doing relatively nothing about aircraft that collide in mid air or simply fall out of the sky. If commercial aircraft had the same rate of crashes as the military, there would be thousands of deaths every year.  Do a google search on the number of military aircraft crashes in the past 10 years. Not all of them are making the nightly news or USA Today.”

–Facebook comment from Jerry Suttles responding to Christopher Campbell

Vermont’s opposition to the F 35 reported on by international news company, Al Jazeera America

by Sheila MacVicar
May 15, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt. – After years of delays and busted budgets, America’s most expensive weapons system – the F-35 fighter jet – is starting its service.

With its stealthy design and millions of lines of computer code that act as a kind of artificial intelligence, it’s being hailed as the future of combat aviation.

But many Burlington residents don’t see the jet as the future of defense. Instead, they see it as an imminent danger to their safety. The Vermont Air National Guard, based at Burlington International Airport, will be the first unit in the country to get the plane, replacing its aging F-16s. It’s scheduled to receive 18 of the fighter jets by 2020.

[Full Article]

Winooski files to join F-35 lawsuit

Elizabeth Murray
April 30, 2015

The City of Winooski officially filed Wednesday to join a lawsuit regarding an environmental impact statement issued by the U.S. Air Force for the F-35 fighter jets.

The City Council had voted unanimously 10 days prior to join the U.S. District Court lawsuit after residents who voted on Town Meeting Day urged the council to consider the action.

[Full Article]

Runway shift may lead to higher noise levels in Val-P

By KELLY HUMPHREY
April 28, 2015

EGLIN AFB — What a difference a few years make.

In 2008, the city of Valparaiso sued the Air Force over access to information about the proposed stationing of F-35s at Eglin Air Force Base. At that time, the city was concerned about the possible negative impact of high noise levels on the community.

On Tuesday, however, Mayor Bruce Arnold, the face of the city’s previous opposition, had nothing but good things to say about the Air Force, even after an announcement that a temporary shift in the F-35s’ runways might lead to higher noise levels in the city.

[Full Article]

House Panel punts on A-10, Wants F-35 engine study

By Brian Everstine
April 30, 2014

The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill ignores the biggest budget fight of the year: the Air Force’s proposal to retire the A-10 attack jet and U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

The tactical air and land subcommittee’s markup of the bill, released Wednesday, does not mention A-10 or U-2 retirement. The Air Force recommends retiring the fleets to save money, but a group of lawmakers has vowed to block the move.

[Full Article]

Air Force would like to replace the A-10 but doesn’t have the funds

By Brian Everstine
April 22, 2015

The Air Force wants a less costly next-generation aircraft for close air support to replace the A-10, but there is no funding available for it and there likely will not be in the future, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Wednesday .

Given a better budget environment, the service would want a new aircraft that could primarily focus on providing close support for ground troops, carry a lot of ordnance and do so more cheaply than other aircraft in the service’s fleet, Welsh said. But it is not a realistic proposal today, he said.

[Full Article]

Keeping A-10 means F-35 delays, F-16 cuts

By Brian Everstine
April 28, 2015

If not allowed to retire the A-10, the Air Force says it will have to send F-16s to the boneyard and delay plans for the F-35 because there aren’t enough airmen to maintain both fighters.

If lawmakers succeed in passing a bill requiring the Air Force to keep the A-10 in its fleet for another year, too few maintenance personnel would available to stand up the first operating unit of the F-35 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and even fewer to continue maintenance of the F-16, the service told congressional staff in a recent briefing. The base is expected to begin receiving F-35s later this year.

[Full Article]

Netherlands to conduct engine maintenance for Italian F-35s

By Marina Malenic
April 26, 2015

The Netherlands signed an agreement with Italy to provide engine maintenance for the latter’s F-35s, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence announced on 22 April.

The Netherlands signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Italy in 2006 whereby Dutch F-35s would be assembled in Cameri, Italy, while Italian F-35 engine maintenance would be performed in Woensdrecht, the Netherlands. Both Dutch and Italian aircraft engines would begin flowing into the factory in 2019, the ministry said.

[Full Article]

People speak out against Navy War Games in their community

By Rosalind Peterson
March 11, 2014

U.S. Navy Escalates Warfare Testing in the Pacific, Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico 2013-2015 – In the above video Rosalind Peterson, on March 11, 2014, discusses the escalation and expansion of U.S. Navy Warfare Testing and the areas in which the U.S. Navy is current conducting Live-Fire Warfare Experimental Testing in the Pacific, Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico.

“Shock & Awe” Bomb Blasts, Sonar use, Missile Exercises, Live-Fire Weapons Testing, Lasers, Electromagnetic and ElectronicWeapons, and Experimental Weapons Testing all negatively impact marine life and our oceans.

[Full Article]

New Red Alert for Billions-Over-Budget F-35 Fighter

By Brianna Ehley
April 27, 2015

Federal auditors are once again sounding alarms over the Pentagon’s embattled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which has soared hundreds of billions of dollars over budget.

Besides being the Defense Department’s most expensive weapons program ever, countless problems with the F-35, including design and systematic issues, have continually pushed back the ready-for-combat date. It is now years behind schedule.

[Full Article]

David Axe Summarizes the F-35 Experience

By David Axe
April 25, 2015

From all the recent sounds of celebrating coming out of Washington, D.C., you might think the Pentagon’s biggest, priciest and most controversial warplane development had accelerated right past all its problems.

The price tag —currently an estimated $1 trillion to design, build and operate 2,400 copies—is steadily going down. Production of dozens of the planes a year for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps is getting easier. Daily flight tests increasingly are hitting all the right marks.

[Full Article]

F-35 Maintenance Software Comes Under Fire

By Sandra I. Erwin
April 24, 2015

The subpar performance of the F-35 logistics information system has been a concern for years. But it has now drawn the attention of key lawmakers who got an earful from Joint Strike Fighter maintenance crews during a recent visit to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

“The committee received numerous complaints and concerns by F-35 maintenance and operational personnel regarding the limitations, poor performance, poor design, and overall unsuitability of the ALIS software in its current form,” said the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on tactical air and land forces in its markup of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.

[Full Article]

F-35 Engines Unreliable

by Anthony Capaccio
April 27, 2015

F-35 engines from United Technologies Corp. are proving so unreliable that U.S. plans to increase production of the fighter jet may be slowed, according to congressional auditors.

Data from flight tests evaluated by the Government Accountability Office show the reliability of engines from the company’s Pratt & Whitney unit is “very poor (less than half of what it should be) and has limited” progress for the F-35, the costliest U.S. weapons system, the watchdog agency said in a report sent to lawmakers this month.

[Full Article]

F-35 exec’s plea to critics: look at jet’s full mission

By Brian Everstine
April 15, 2015

Decision-makers on Capitol Hill have lost sight of the full mission set of the F-35, and instead have focused on its inability to fully replicate the A-10 in close air support, the head of the Joint Strike Fighter program said Tuesday.

The F-35 cannot do close air support as well as the A-10, acknowledged Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program executive officer. It doesn’t have the time on station in a battle, or a gun as venerable as the Warthog’s GAU-8 Avenger. But it flies other missions, and it will improve, he said.

[Full Article]

Another F-35 Delay? Highly touted maintenance software doesn’t deliver

By Brian Everstine
April 15, 2015

The F-35’s highly touted, next-generation software system designed to detail maintenance issues on the jet is plagued with problems that could lead to more delays with the jet’s development.

The F-35’s Autonomic Logistics Information System is a program that a maintainer plugs into the jet, and it is expected to outline what is wrong and what is working, and to streamline the process of identifying replacement parts. It has been a touted as a game-changing technology to simplify the maintenance process for the new jet.

[Full Article]

Winooski joins lawsuit against USAF

By Elizabeth Murray
April 21, 2015

Applause could be heard throughout the Winooski City Council meeting room Monday after the council unanimously approved the city’s joining as a full party to a lawsuit regarding the U.S. Air Force’s environmental impact statement of F-35 fighter jets.

The decision followed a third heated discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of entering the lawsuit against Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

As a full party, the city would retain its own lawyer in the lawsuit, forgoing representation by the current plantiffs’ lawyer, James Dumont. The council also approved the expenditure of $7,500 beginning after the meeting. This amount would be capped, and if the city planned on spending more, it would bring that issue back before the public and City Council for discussion.

[Full Article]

American security psychosis

By Stephen Kinzer
APRIL 12, 2015

WHEN AMERICANS look out at the world, we see a swarm of threats. China seems resurgent and ambitious. Russia is aggressive. Iran menaces our allies. Middle East nations we once relied on are collapsing in flames. Latin American leaders sound steadily more anti-Yankee. Terror groups capture territory and commit horrific atrocities. We fight Ebola with one hand while fending off Central American children with the other.

In fact, this world of threats is an illusion. The United States has no potent enemies. We are not only safe, but safer than any big power has been in all of modern history.

[Full Article]

Ship built by Navy for F35 needs significant upgrades

By Tyler Rogoway
April 13, 2015

The Navy’s USS America, the first of her class, was controversially optimized to handle the F-35, leaving out the multi-purpose well deck traditionally found on ‘Gator Navy’ flattops. Now, just months after her commissioning, she already needs 40 weeks of upgrades just to handle the very aircraft she was designed for.

The F-35 program has become something of a dark comedy. Yes, it has huge fiscal and national security implications, but sometimes you just have to laugh at how big of a fumbling mess it really is.

[Full Article]

USAF Plans for Radical F-35 Upgrade Reveal Obsolescence

By Giovanni de Briganti
April 8, 2015

PARIS — US Air Force plans to replace the F-35 fighter’s avionics, radar and engines are an implicit admission that the current aircraft is already obsolete and that, despite a unit cost of over $250 million, it cannot match the latest foreign fighters coming into service.

This is the first time a customer acknowledges that the obsolescence of the F-35’s sensors has degraded the aircraft’s still unproven nominal capabilities to the point that a radical upgrade is necessary, more than a year before it enters service.

[Full Article]

The battle to kill the A-10

By Brian Everstine, Staff writer
March 23, 2015

The Air Force is on the attack to eliminate the beloved A-10, insisting that the venerable Warthog is not the only airframe up to the close-air support task.

To press the point, service leaders showcased a group of fighter pilots, who described their CAS missions in other aircraft. But opponents on Capitol Hill, and troops on the ground, aren’t having it, and the service faces an uphill battle to cut the jet and bring its beleaguered F-35 online in time.

[Full Article]

F-35 needs a bigger, more powerful engine

Dave Majumdar, Chris Kjelgaard
March 27, 2015

Upgraded future versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could replace the stealthy jet’s Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan with a new adaptive cycle engine. The current F135 engine is at the limits of its capabilities and can’t push the jet out to the outer edges of its airframes capabilities—especially at low speeds.

“Our adaptive cycle design architecture is designed around F-35, and we’re designing it somewhat more aggressively than today’s standard F-35 requirements,” Dan McCormick, general manager of General Electric Aviation’s Advanced Combat Engine program, told The National Interest. “They want higher speeds and they just can’t get the heat off the airplane. They’ve told us they want unrestricted flight envelope operation.”

[Full Article]

Winooski: Council weighs cost of F-35 lawsuit

The City of Winooski has sought legal advice as it explores options for joining a lawsuit regarding the basing of F-35 fighter planes in Chittenden County — though legal opinions conflict as the city moves closer to making its decision.

Plaintiffs who filed the case in U.S. District Court say the Air Force failed to provide enough information in the report it released in April 2014. At issue is whether the Air Force underestimated the level of noise and its potential impact on health, property values and safety for those in the flight locations.

[Full Article]

Anon F35 letter from Washington DC area

Anon F35 letter from Washington DC area

F-35 still years away from being ready for combat

By: Mandy Smithberger
March 12, 2015

The F-35 continues to fail the most basic requirements for combat aircraft and commonsense. Despite reforms, the F-35 continues to be unaffordable, its engines continue to be susceptible to fire, and the Pentagon continues to misrepresent its performance. Below are just a few of the issues identified in a recent report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E)

[Full Article]

The F-35 is Still FUBAR

By AJ Vicens
Mar. 17, 2015

Originally slated to cost $233 billion, the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program could end up being costing more than $1.5 trillion. Which might not be so bad if the super-sophisticated next-generation jet fighter lives up to its hype. A recent report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation paints a pretty damning picture of the plane’s already well documented problems. The report makes for some pretty dense reading, but the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group that’s long criticized the F-35 program, has boiled down the major issues.

[Full Article]

Not Ready for Prime Time DOT&E Report: The F-35 is not ready for IOC and won’t be any time soon

March 12, 2015

Inside-the-Beltway wisdom holds that the $1.4 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is too big to cancel and on the road to recovery. But the latest report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) provides a litany of reasons that conventional wisdom should be considered politically driven propaganda. The press has already reported flawed software that hinders the ability of the plane to employ weapons, communicate information, and detect threats; maintenance problems so severe that the F-35 has an “overdependence” on contractor maintainers and “unacceptable workarounds” (behind paywall) and is only able to fly twice a week; and a high-rate, premature production schedule that ignores whether the program has demonstrated essential combat capabilities or proven it’s safe to fly. All of these problems are increasing costs and risks to the program. Yet rather than slow down production to focus resources on fixing these critical problems, Congress used the year-end continuing resolution omnibus appropriations bill—termed the “cromnibus”—to add 4 additional planes to the 34 Department of Defense (DoD) budgeted for Fiscal Year 2015. The original FY2016 plan significantly increased the buy to 55, and now the program office is further accelerating its purchase of these troubled planes to buy 57 instead.

[full article]

Little “Fighter” That Couldn’t: Moral Hazard and the F-35

By Tony Carr
March 16, 2015

As Air Force senior officials prepare for posture hearings this week with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the subject of modernization promises to be front and center. Core to that discussion will almost certainly be the limping, $1.4 trillion F-35 program.

Belying the conventional wisdom, which touts the Joint Strike Fighter as something of a futuristic aerial Swiss army knife, the F-35 is proving to be little more than a dull, bent, and unwieldy butter knife — a jack of no trades, master of only one: burning through taxpayer dollars at a rate that would embarrass Croesus.

[full article]

Is the F-35 a trillion dollar fiasco?

by Bryan Myers & Sheila MacVicar
March 26, 2015

The biggest story this year so far in the F-35 joint strike fighter world is not the soaring cost of the aircraft — a problem that appears to have been contained, according to the program manager — but the determination of the Marine Corps to put the aircraft into service even though its mission software is unfinished and cracks surfaced in one of its main bulkheads.

[full article]

Marine Corp to put flawed F-35 into service

SANDRA I. ERWIN, NATIONAL DEFENSE MAGAZINE
MAR. 27, 2015

The biggest story this year so far in the F-35 joint strike fighter world is not the soaring cost of the aircraft — a problem that appears to have been contained, according to the program manager — but the determination of the Marine Corps to put the aircraft into service even though its mission software is unfinished and cracks surfaced in one of its main bulkheads.

[full article]

 

These planes could someday replace the A-10 Warthog

By Dan Lamothe | The Washington Post
March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — The impending mothballing of the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jet has prompted outrage among its advocates in the active-duty military, hand-wringing on Capitol Hill and questions from analysts about whether the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can be operated cheaply enough to support ground troops on a regular basis.

But it also has sparked a question: Which plane could the U.S. military adopt if it ultimately decides it needs a new, designated plane to provide close-air support?

[full article]

Aircraft noise linked with heart problems

Aircraft noise linked with heart problems,” a Harvard  School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health study linking aircraft noise to increase in cardiovascular disease in older people.

Physiological, Motivational, and Cognitive effects of Aircraft Noise on Children

Physiological, Motivational, and Cognitive effects of Aircraft Noise on Children,” by Sheldon Cohen, et al, American Psychologist, Vol. 35 No. 3, March 1980, Describes a peer reviewed study showing that children attending noisy schools – in an air corridor of Los Angeles International Airport – have higher blood pressures and perform more poorly on cognitive tasks than do children attending quiet schools. The study also shows that the negative effects of aircraft noise on the performance and health of these school children do not diminish over time.

A follow-up study of effects of chronic aircraft noise exposure on child stress responses and cognition

A follow-up study of effects of chronic aircraft noise exposure on child stress responses and cognition,” Mary M Haines, et al, International Journal of Epidemiology (2001)  30 (4): 839-845. “Results and Conclusions: At follow-up chronic aircraft noise exposure was associated with higher levels of annoyance and perceived stress, poorer reading comprehension and sustained attention, measured by standardized scales after adjustment for age, social deprivation and main language spoken.”

Santa Monica Airport Health Impact Assessment

Santa Monica Airport Health Impact Assessment,”  UCLA Community Health and Advocacy Training Program, Adrian Castro, et al, February 2010, “Levels of noise due to plane and jet take-offs from Santa Monica Airport are above Federal Aviation Airport thresholds. Excessive noise is associated with: hearing loss, higher levels of psychological distress, and impaired reading comprehension and memory among children.”

Report Endangered Health- Threat From F-35 Basing

Report Endangered Health- Threat From F-35 Basing… 50% of the children in the 65 dB noise zone will suffer cognitive impairment. Additionally, altering neurotransmitter levels can lead to psychiatric disorders later in life for these children.” Endangered Health: The Threat to Public Health from the Proposed F-35 Basing at Burlington International Airport Current scientific consensus confirms that health effects of aviation noise, in both children and adults, are far more severe than the Air Force acknowledges

Low Frequency Noise:A Major Risk Factor in Military Operations

Low Frequency Noise:A Major Risk Factor in Military Operations,” Low frequency (below 500HZ) military jet noise: a major problem that has received little attention, “Usually the concern is with the higher frequency bands (> 500 Hz) that cause hearing damage or interfere with speech. Protection against noise is thus focused on these higher frequencies, while the bands of lower frequencies (< 500 Hz) are neglected, and non-audible bands, infrasound (< 20Hz) are ignored. In reality, long-term exposure to low frequency noise (<500 Hz, including infrasound) (LFN) can be quite detrimental to one’s health… Immediate effects of LFN-exposure can include a) decreased capacity for cognitive functions, which implies a decline in performance, the consequences of which can be minor to devastating; b) sudden onset of acute respiratory problems, neurological disturbances, and mood alterations, such as, rage reactions. Cumulative effects of LFN-exposure can include triggering of early aging processes, and the development of vibroacoustic disease in susceptible (70%) individuals. Early compulsory retirement is a frequent situation.

Characterization of Ambient Air Toxics in Neighborhoods Abutting T. F. Green Airport [Rhode Island] and Comparison Sites

Characterization of Ambient Air Toxics in Neighborhoods Abutting T. F. Green Airport [Rhode Island] and Comparison Sites,” Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Office of Air Resources, April 2008, results indicate aircraft air pollution and increased cancer risk in neighborhoods abutting T. F. Green Airport.

F-35 pilots are seeing double, but it’s the plane that’s drunk

by Daniel Cooper
March 25th 2015

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may be stealthy, powerful and expensive, but the plane’s greatest threat isn’t the enemy. Instead, engineers have discovered a software glitch that gives these new super fighters the technological equivalent of double vision. F-35s are equipped with Advanced Sensor Fusion, a system that’s designed to collate sensor data from all of the planes and combine them into one big picture. If you have 10 jets zooming around, all of the allied pilots and commanders will, theoretically, be able to see everything that’s going on.

[Full Article]

Domestic Military Expansion Spreads Through the US, Ignites Dissent

By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report

What if you lived in a country that allowed its Navy to fly the loudest aircraft in the world over your home day and night, generating sonic booms that rattled the windows of people living in a neighboring country, and test new weapons in areas that would knowingly harm, or possibly kill, humans and wildlife?

Welcome to the United States, which has a military with an increasing domestic expansion that may soon be coming to your town, city or national forest.

That the US military knowingly tested new weapons on US citizens (possibly in the thousands), wildlife or even its own soldiers is nothing new. Publicly available documents reveal how the US military has even released nerve gas in public areas, as well as farms, to see the effects on civilians and animals. This occurred during the 1960s, when the United States secretly tested both chemical and biological weapons on US soil, including releasing deadly nerve agents in Alaska and spraying bacteria over Hawaii.

Full Article

Noise Exposure Standards to Prevent Hearing Loss

Occupational Noise Exposure,”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) noise exposure standards to prevent hearing loss. For the 115 decibel noise level of the F-35 (Air Force Environmental Impact Statement ES-11) the maximum exposure to prevent hearing loss is 28 seconds. These are adult standards. Children are far more vulnerable.

noise-exposure-durations solve-puzzle-noise

Children and Noise – World Health Organization

Children and Noise,” World Health Organization

The Revised Environmental Impact Statement Errors Discount F-35 Noise Health Impacts

What the Air Force tells us in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)

F-35 in VT: How Blind Patriotism Struck Leaders Blind, Deaf, and Dumb

By William Boardman [May 30, 2014]

In the real world, on 9/11, the Vermont Air National Guard defended nothing against nobody, and managed to provide no real protection for anyone anywhere.  When it mattered most in 2001, our Air Guard was on the ground.

But that’s not the official story.

The official story is framed to make this abject failure to provide any actual defense look like some sort on non-specific heroic saga.  Here’s U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, 74, a Democrat and part-time Vermonter, with his version of the official story in a letter to constituents:

“Vermont’s 158th Fighter Wing [the Air Guard] is of outstanding and proven ability, and in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, scrambled many of their [sic] F-16s in protective missions. For 122 days, the unit provided continuous air patrols over Washington, D.C., and New York City. No Air Force unit did more than the Vermont Guard to reestablish control of our skies after that awful day.”

Read full article:  http://2vr.org/2014/05/30/f-35-in-vt-how-blind-patriotism-struck-leaders-blind-deaf-and-dumb-by-william-boardman/

Open letter to Winooski City Council from George Cross

There are approximately 3,713 residential units in Winooski found in 1,591 buildings. These include single family houses, residences with an extra apartment or two, large apartment complexes, and condos. Over the last few years many of us have struggled with the potential impact on these residences by the basing of the F-35 military jet at the Vermont Air Guard Station located at the Burlington Airport. Currently a group of Winooski citizens combined with our neighbors in surrounding towns have entered into legal actions to prevent this deployment. Why?

The Air Force in its Environmental Impact Statement related to deploying the F-35 here has stated that the F-35 is four times as loud as the F-16 which is the plane currently in use. The EIS also states that the defined 65db DNL noise area around the airport is “not suitable for residential use.” Recently the area real estate association has clarified that agents should provide potential buyers with a disclosure form that indicates when a residence is within the 65db DNL noise zone. It follows, that ethically renters should be told about the potential noise prior to signing a lease.

That is why. But, here is the real problem. About 70% of those residential units, 2,589 of them, fall in the noise area that the Air Force has defined as “not suitable for residential use.” Stated another way, 70% of the places where Winooski residents now live will be compromised by the F-35.

Thus, the time has come for the Winooski City Council to stand up for the city’s residents by joining the legal actions being taken to prevent this injustice. If you agree, it is suggested that you contact the City Council, the Mayor and the City Manager to register your concern about the deployment of the F-35 at BTV. You can find contact information for all of them at www.winooskivt.org.

To learn more about the F-35 and the many issues surrounding the deployment of the plane in a residential area go to www.stopthef35.com or www.saveourskiesvt.org.

George Cross is a former Winooski State Representative, Interim Winooski City Manager, and Superintendent of the Winooski School District

How Would You Spend 1.4 Trillion Dollars?

Published in Seven Days 10/29/14 (Click to enlarge)how would you spend 1.4 trillion

A Message of Hope

A letter from Col. Rosanne Greco (USAF Ret.)

Dear Friends of Save Our Skies VT:

Many of you have worked so hard for so long to stop the basing of the F-35A in our community. I know many of you are discouraged and disillusioned, and have dropped out of the struggle. But, I am writing today to urge you to come back to help…just for a very short period of time, because we are close to the end of the struggle-one way or the other.

First a little background: I don’t think many of you realize how VERY successful we were. We actually changed the Air Force’s position on basing the F-35 here. Based on the overwhelming number of comments in opposition to the basing, all the opposition noise we made, and the threat of a lawsuit, the AF actually had decided to skip Burlington (on two occasions!). In mid-August 2013, the AF decided to delay making any basing choices for the Air Guard bases. They were going to select an active duty Air Force Base (Hill AFB), and then revisit the Guard base decision in a few years. But, a few weeks later, Leahy made a personal phone call to General Welsh (the four-star General in charge of the AF) telling the General that he would not support this.

Despite this, in mid-October 2013, the AF again decided against Burlington. They were going to select McEntire Air Guard Base in South Carolina! This was mostly because they feared being sued. The Air Force lawyers were very concerned that they could not legally support the rationale for basing the F-35A at Burlington. They were also concerned about what would be made public in legal proceedings. But certain folks convinced the AF leadership that we would not sue. Leahy had told the AF that he had heard from thousands of people who supported the basing, and from only a handful who opposed; and he convinced the AF they had nothing to fear from us.

Despite warnings and objections from the AF lawyers, the AF leadership caved to political demands. Imagine their shock when we did sue them! And, now they are very nervous about our lawsuit.

Our ONLY hope to stop the basing is to continue our lawsuit. And, we DO have hope. Recently, the Air Force backed down TWICE in lawsuits against them by the little city (about 5,000 people) of Valparaiso Florida. If they acquiesced to the folks in Florida, there is reason to believe they will also want to avert our lawsuit by dropping plans to base the F-35A here. We are far more vocal than the residents of Valparaiso. Plus, the AF can now legitimately use our lawsuit as a reason to back off of the basing, and rationalize their decision to Leahy.

BUT…and this is the real reason for this letter…the ONLY way this will happen…. and our only realistic hope of stopping the basing…. is by paying our attorney Jim Dumont’s legal fees. Jim has made great legal arguments, and he has been very generous to us in his fees; but he needs to be paid, or he will have to stop working on our behalf. If that happens, then we have truly lost…and the F-35 will come here and destroy our communities.

You are the people who banded together and through your grassroots efforts convinced the AF to try to avoid Burlington as an F35 basing site. Now, we need to finish the job to eliminate it entirely. And to do that, we must raise money for legal costs…or else all that we have worked for, and sweat and cried over will have been for nothing.

In the larger context of lawsuits, the costs for ours are not very much-due in large part to Jim’s generosity toward us. Nonetheless, it would be beyond sadness to think we lost for lack of a few thousand dollars.

Personally, I have been working this issue for a few years-not because the F-35 basing affects me personally, but because as an elected official, I felt I had an obligation to support the people I represented. I also see this as another example of social injustice in our society.

There is another powerful lesson from history: social justice changes happened mainly because people did not give up the fight!

I hate to give up the fight against something as ethically corrupt as this is…. but, if we don’t raise enough money to pay Jim, it is over. Please help today!

Together we can stop this monster from coming to our neighborhoods. But, it will take money to do it. If we all give according to our ability, it would make a huge difference. Please consider donating what you can: $35 or $70, or $135, $350, $3,500, or more. And please get the word out to others you know who oppose this gross injustice. Our fundraising goal for the end of 2014 is $20,000 and with your help we will continue our fight to protect what we love – our homes and community, our health, and the goodness of Vermont. It’s the right thing to do!

We were incredibly successful in the past. Are you able to help again? Please help us – in these last critical efforts to stop the F-35s!

Sincerely,

Colonel Rosanne Greco, USAF (Ret.)

PS In case you may have forgotten, your donations are tax-deductible. Make checks payable to “Save Our Skies VT/P&JC” and mail it to:
PO Box 191, Winooski, VT 05404 OR donate online at www.SaveOurSkiesVT.org/donate

Protect what you love – Save Vermont – Stop the F35s!

New Data: How Much Does an F-35 Actually Cost?

By Winslow Wheeler
An Air Force F-35A costs $148 million, each.
A Marine Corps F-35B costs $251 million.
A Navy F-35C costs $337 million.
A “generic” F-35 costs $178 million (the average for the three models).
These are production costs only; additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included.  The dollars are 2015 dollars.
Explanation and elaboration follow.
Find this piece at Medium.com’s War Is Boring at https://medium.com/war-is-boring/how-much-does-an-f-35-actually-cost-21f95d239398 and below.
How Much Does an F-35 Actually Cost?
The F-35 is not just the most expensive warplane ever, it’s the most expensive weapons program ever. But to find out exactly how much a single F-35 costs, we analyzed the newest and most authoritative data.
Here’s how much we’re paying.
A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a “generic” F-35 costs $178 million.
It gets worse. These are just the production costs. Additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included. The dollars are 2015 dollars. This data was just released by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its report for the Pentagon’s 2015 appropriations bill.
Except for the possibility that the F-35 Joint Program Office might complain that the F-35A number might be a little too low, these numbers are about as complete, accurate and authoritative as they can be.
Moreover, each of the other defense committees on Capitol Hill agree or-with one exception-think each model will be more expensive. The Pentagon’s numbers for these unit costs-in every case-are higher.
The methodology for calculating these F-35 unit costs is straightforward. Both the president’s budget and each of four congressional defense committees publish the amounts to be authorized or appropriated for each model of the F-35, including the number of aircraft to be bought.
The rest is simple arithmetic: Divide the total dollars for each model by the quantity.
Purchase price
There are just two things F-35 watchers need to be careful about.
First, it’s necessary to add the funding from the previous year’s appropriation act to the procurement money the government allocated for 2015. This is “advance procurement” for 2015 spending, and pays for “long lead” components that take longer to acquire.
Second, we have to add the cost of Navy and Air Force modifications.
For the F-35, these costs are for fixing mistakes already found in the testing process. With the aircraft still in its initial testing, the modification costs to existing aircraft are very low. But the 2015 amounts for modifications are surrogates for what the costs for this year’s buy might be. If anything, this number can be an under-estimate.
The Senate Appropriations Committee sent its report to the printer on July 17, and that data is informed by the latest advice from the Pentagon, which is routinely consulted for the data the committee is working with. The Pentagon is also given an opportunity to appeal to change both data and recommendations.
Accordingly, of the four congressional defense committees, the Senate Appropriations Committee numbers are the most up to date. For the most part, these numbers are also the lowest.
The data from all four defense committees, the Pentagon’s budget request, and the final 2014 appropriations-all for the F-35 program-are in the table at the end of this article. This data is the empirical, real-world costs to buy, but not to test or develop, an F-35 in 2015.
They should be understood to be the actual purchase price for 2015-what the Pentagon will have to pay to have an operative F-35.
It’s very simple, and it’s also not what program advocates want you to think.
In a briefing delivered to reporters on June 9, F-35 developer Lockheed still advertised the cost of airplanes sans engines. Highly respected Aviation Week reported on July 22 that taxpayers put up $98 million for each F-35A in 2013.
In reality, we actually paid $188 million.
Some of these numbers are for the airframe only. In other cases, you get a “flyaway” cost. But in fact, those airplanes are incapable of operative flight. They lack the specialized tools, simulators, logistics computers-and much, much more-to make the airplane useable. They even lack the fuel to fly away.
Rising costs
Here’s another curious fact. The unit costs of the Marines’ short-takeoff, vertical-landing B-model and the Navy’s aircraft-carrier-capable C-model are growing.
The cost of an F-35B grew from $232 million in 2014 to a bulging $251 million by 2015. The cost of the Navy’s F35C grew from $273 million in 2014 to a wallet-busting $337 million by 2015.
The quantity numbers for the F-35B have not changed, remaining at six per year. The number of F-35Cs to be produced has slipped from four to two, but surely learning processes on the F-35 line have not been going so far backward as to explain a 23 percent, $64 million per unit cost increase.
Something else is going on.
That something just might be in the F-35A line. Note the 15 percent decline in the F-35 unit price from 2014: from $174 million to $148 million. The units produced increase from 19 to 26, which Bogdan repeatedly explained will bring cost reductions due to “economy of scale.”
However, is that what’s really occurring in the F-35A line, while F-35B and F-35C costs are ballooning? Should not some of the benefit in F-35A production efficiency also show up on the F-35B and F-35C? Lockheed builds all three on the same assembly line in Fort Worth.
It could be that the F-35B and F-35C are bearing the overheard-or other costs-of the F-35A.
Why else would an F-35B with a stable production rate increase by $19 million per unit, and how else could the cost to build an F-35C-in production for six years-increase by $64 million per unit?
Even those who reject that someone might be cooking the books to make F-35A costs look as good as possible to Congress-and all-important foreign buyers-there should be a consensus that the program needs a comprehensive, fully independent audit.
Surely, an audit will help Congress and Pentagon leadership better understand why F-35B and F-35C prices are going up when they were supposed to be going down-and to ensure there is nothing untoward going on in any part of the program.
The defense world is full of price scams, each of them engineered to come up with the right answer for whoever is doing the talking.
Next time an advocate tells you what the current unit cost is for a program, ask: “What is Congress appropriating for them this year?” And, “How many are we buying?” Then get out your calculator. The result might surprise you.
The aforementioned mentioned table follows:
2015 Congressional Defense Committee and DOD Recommendations for F-35 Procurement
($Millions, 2015 Dollars)
2014 Appropriations
(2014 Dollars)
2015 DOD Request
HASC
2015
SASC
2015
HAC
2015
SAC
2015
F-35A Procurement
(19)
2,889
(26)
3,553
(26)
3,553
(26)
3,553
(28)
3,777
(26)
3,331
Previous Year AP
293
339
339
339
339
339
Modification of Aircraft
127
188
188
188
156
188
Subtotal $
3309
4080
4080
4080
4272
3858
F-35A
Unit Cost
174
157
157
157
153
148
F-35B Procurement
(6)
1,176
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
(6)
1,200
Previous Year AP
106
103
103
103
103
103
Modification of Aircraft
111
286
286
286
210
205
Subtotal $
1393
1589
1589
1589
1513
1508
F-35B
Unit Cost
232
265
265
265
252
251
F-35C Procurement
(4)
1,028
(2)
611
(2)
611
(2)
611
(4)
866
(2)
594
Previous Year AP
33
79
79
79
79
79
Modification of Aircraft
30
20
20
20
20
1
Subtotal $
1091
710
710
710
965
674
F-35C
Unit Cost
273
355
355
355
241
337
Grand Total $
5793
6379
6379
6379
6750
6040
Generic F-35 Unit Cost
200
188
188
188
178
178

Petition – Please Sign!

 

Click Here to Sign!

The entire F-35 fleet was recently grounded due to an engine fire, making the F-35 a no-show at a high profile international air show, while Canada just hit pause on their F-35 purchase to evaluate other options.

Over budget and years behind schedule, it’s time to put an end to the most expensive weapons system in history. Tell Congress to ground the F-35 forever.

Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and other Pentagon contractors are profiting off the taxpayer’s dime and funneling money into campaign coffers and lobbying. Even war hawk Senator John McCain describes the F-35 as the “worst example of the military-industrial-congressional complex.”1

They’re rigging the system so the F-35 wins and working families lose as vital programs like food assistance, infrastructure repair and education are slashed again and again.

So what could we have invested in instead of the most wasteful program in the history of the military? Our friends at Think Progress recently broke down the numbers and found that we could buy every homeless person in the U.S. a mansion, feed every school kid in the country or boost infrastructure funding needed to rebuild America.2

Sign the petition to tell Congress: End the F-35 program so we can invest in an America that works for all of us, not just Pentagon contractor CEOs.

Thanks,

Ross Wallen
USAction

 

1. Foreign PolicyThe Pentagon’s $399 Billion Plane to Nowhere: The next-generation F-35, the most expensive plane ever built, may be too dangerous to fly. Why is Congress keeping it alive?2. ThinkProgressAmericans Have Spent Enough Money On A Broken Plane To Buy Every Homeless Person A Mansion

 

Harvard School of Public Health: Aircraft noise linked with heart problems

Harvard School of Public Health: Aircraft noise linked with heart problems

Current research confirms an increase in illness linked to extreme airport noise (at the levels produced by the F-16 and the much louder F-35 (if based here) warplanes in communities surrounding the Burlington Airport)

Read article:  http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/aircraft-noise-linked-with-heart-problems/

Stop the F-35 Coalition on Vermont Edition: F-35 Landing In Burlington. Now What?

Rather than ending the debate, the decision may just change the discussion. Supporters and opponents of the decisions will weigh in on the Air Force’s choice.

Listen to full show at http://digital.vpr.net/post/f-35-landing-burlington-now-what

Government watchdog group wants delay in Vermont F-35 basing decision

An independent government watchdog group in Washington D.C. has asked the Air Force to put off a decision to base a squadron of F-35s in Vermont because of ongoing safety concerns regard about the fledgling fighter jet.

“It is irresponsible for you to rush to beddown this immature aircraft in a residential zone,” Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, wrote in a Nov. 6 letter to the acting Air Force secretary and chief of staff. “If you believe there is indeed some urgency, then you should not endanger the local population and should follow past precedent and place the F-35A in a less dangerous location,” Brian said in the letter. One of the group’s founding advisers is Pierre Sprey, a former designer of military aircraft who has made two appearances in Burlington on behalf of foes of the F-35. The Air Force has designated the Vermont Air National Guard facility at Burlington International Airport in South Burlington as the preferred Air Guard site over Guard bases in South Carolina and Florida. A final basing decision by the Air Force is expected shortly.

Brian’s letter said her organization obtained information from an Air Force official indicating the F-35 will have logged only 300,000 hours of training and operational flight time by 2020, when the basing in Vermont would begin. Vermont Air National Guard officials have said they believe the plane will have flown 750,000 hours by 2020. “We strongly urge you to delay selecting a location for the F-35A’s operational beddown until the aircraft has logged a significant number of flying hours and until its safety record has been demonstrated,” Brian wrote.

Full article: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20131125/NEWS02/311250033/Government-watchdog-group-wants-delay-in-Vt-F-35-basing

“Mayor” Weinberger–F-35 Booster and CEO for the military-industrial-real estate complex

“He’s a politician, but he’s grounded in business — and in the end you need an economic base to have a successful community,” says Pomerleau, who contributed at the host level. Pomerleau, whose family has long dominated the Chittenden County real estate scene, backed Weinberger’s Republican opponent, Kurt Wright, in the 2012 election. But he says he’s been impressed by the Democratic mayor’s efforts to boost Burlington International Airport, reimagine the Moran Plant, build the Champlain Parkway and help the Vermont Air National Guard acquire a squadron of F-35 fighter jets.  Last year, Pomerleau flew Weinberger and other Vermont politicians to Florida to hear the jets firsthand. And he helped bankroll a campaign to support Weinberger’s so-called “fiscal stability bond,” which voters approved last November.  “He is the mayor,” Pomerleau says. “I didn’t support him in the beginning, but I’ve come to appreciate his efforts and his challenges. Therefore, when he asked me to contribute for a get-together, it was as much a thank-you for what he’s doing.”

A “Fresh Start”: Sixteen Months Before Election Day, Weinberger Courts Big Burlington Donors
Fair Game

By Paul Heintz [11.20.13]
He won’t face the voters again until March 2015, but Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger is already collecting cash for a potential reelection bid. Last Wednesday, roughly 100 supporters packed the Bluebird Tavern for Weinberger’s first campaign fundraiser since he was elected in March 2012. Tickets to the schmooze fest started at $250 per person. Sponsors paid $500. And members of the event’s host committee, which included several top real estate developers with business before the city, ponied up $1000.

Read full article: http://www.7dvt.com/2013fresh-start-sixteen-months-election-day-weinberger-courts-big-burlington-donors

PUTTING PLANES BEFORE PEOPLE: HOW DEMOCRACY LOST TO THE F-35

WHENEVER a politician instructs you—as Council President Joan Shannon did at the close of a controversial Burlington City Council meeting—that although we may strongly disagree on this issue remember that “we are all Vermonters”, know that she is playing you for a fool. Because there are clearly two classes of Vermonters—those who wield political and economic power, can stack meetings, issue misinformation at will and call out the military to support their plans (the side that won the City Council vote)—and ordinary people in the majority who suffer the consequences of the establishment’s decisions, and who must campaign and organize for their future, for their rights and for their dignity.

Nearly 500 people marched into the City Council meeting on October 28 to testify for or against the basing of the boondoggle F-35 warplane at Burlington International Airport. Many were from airport neighborhoods threatened by the extreme noise of the jets. The City Council planned to hear testimony before voting on two resolutions initiated by the Stop the F-35 Coalition that would bar the plane. One would have banned the plane outright–the other would have imposed noise and crash rate regulations that would have effectively kept the warplane out as well.

See full article  at   http://www.stopthef35.com/putting-planes-before-people-how-democracy-lost-to-the-f-35/

Important Update – Please Read This!

 

Dear SOSVT Allies and Friends:

The official USAF Record of Decision was announced on December 2, 2013 to locate the first-ever basing of a new warplane, the F35s, with an Air Guard unit that is situated in a densely populated residential area in South Burlington, VT.   Defying all measures of common sense and safety, this marks the first time that a new warplane has ever been based in a residential area.

The manipulation of data, misinformation, and dismissal of scientific studies, which predict significant environmental damage to our Vermont communities and its people, by well-appointed politicians, corporate proponents, and the local military were key factors in this decision.  But most influential of all was Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who was determined to bring home this pork “prize” for the Vermont Air National Guard, despite the destructive damage from the F35s that will be felt most intensely in the communities surrounding the airport.

Although substantial scientific evidence,  including studies from the USAF itself, points to damage to the health, safety and property values of Vermont citizens, Sen. Leahy merely tells us that, in his opinion, it won’t be too bad or cause harm, and that we are “just going to have to trust him on this”.

But according to the World Health Organization, the damage will disproportionately impact thousands of Vermonters, whereby 50% of those impacted children will suffer cognitive learning disabilities.   In addition, the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke for all who are subjected to the F35s impact will increase.

No problem, say Sen. Leahy!   He says the “honor” of bringing the F35s to Vermont is worth it, despite the health impact on vulnerable populations and loss of property values.   What a tragedy for our state and its people!

Once the basing decision was announced, our best means to continue fighting this inappropriate and out-of-scale basing are our legal options.

F-35 opponents in December 2012 requested that Burlington, which owns the airport, obtain an Act 250 permit in order to require the Air Force to mitigate the noise impacts of the new jet.   The Act 250 permitting process is Vermont’s landmark land-use law that is designed to “mitigate the effects of development through an application process that addresses the environmental and community impacts of projects.”

Recently, Vermont State’s Environmental court judge denied the request by F35 opponents that Burlington obtain a land-use permit to host the fleet of F-35 fighter jets.  The judge decided that proposed changes at the Vermont Air National Guard base that would be made to accommodate the jets do not warrant an Act 250 permit.

In reality, according to the US Air Force’s study, the F35s will make over half of the city adjoining the airport “unsuitable for residential use”!  If ever there was a case for Vermont’s Act 250 law addressing an environmental impact of a project on a community, this is it!

We will continue this fight to the Vermont Supreme Court to appeal the decision, as well as working to raise the awareness of the fraudulent, corrupt waste of the F35s program on a national level.   Please click here to donate to help fund this fight! 




We are not alone in our fight!  We are encouraged to note that opposition from other densely-populated residential communities against these loud, untested aircraft is being organized in places like Valparaiso, FL., Boise, ID., Tucson, El Mirage and Wittman, AZ, Beaufort, SC, Key West and N. Tampa, FL, as well as western Maine.   The list is growing as other states organize to protect their neighborhoods against the projected intense damage from the proposed basing of the F35s in their areas.

In addition, anti-F35 campaigns are being waged internationally as seen in protests in Italy, Australia and the Netherlands that have been attended by thousands of residents fighting against the colossal waste of the over-budget, under-performing, problem-plagued F35s program that is corporate welfare for the military defense contractor, Lockheed Martin.

So please keep voicing your opposition, and keep our mission of stopping the F35s basing alive with your words and donations!   By signing petitions, contacting your Congressional delegation and newspapers, the Governor of Vermont, the Mayor of Burlington and your local elected representative to give your feedback and concerns, you will continue to work towards protecting Vermont and its people from the devastation of the F35s.

Give money for the legal campaign, keep your voices strong, and don’t give up the fight!  




SOSVT.org

  1. If you haven’t seen it yet, even Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have highlighted the waste and fraud of the F35 and wasteful military spending on their shows.  We are reaching out to more national media outlets to continue to expose this flawed and unnecessary squandering of your taxpayer monies and our country’s misplaced priorities.

Stephen Colbert looks at the latest examples of this absurd way of spending money, especially a fighter jet called the F-35:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/433286/february-25-2014/the-word—jobsolete

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

Burlington City Council Meeting 10-28-13 Speaker Doug Dunbebin

October 28, 5:15 pm: Rally, Public Hearing and Vote

Stop the F-35 Basing

WHAT:          Burlington City Council Public Hearing and Vote on 

Prohibiting the   F-35 Basing

WHEN:          Monday, October 28. Come early for the “People  and the Planet Before                                        Planes” rally at 5:15 pm. Public hearing begins at 6:00 pm

WHERE:        Burlington City Hall, corner of Church and Main

                            WHY:             This is one of the most significant local decisions of a generation

The People Versus the Military Industrial Complex

3-year campaign comes to a head this Monday

The improbable campaign against the basing of the F-35 in Burlington began as early as 2010.

That year, a local official described himself to a Seven Days reporter as “100 percent receptive” to having F-35s at Burlington International.  He infamously said, “I hear the noise the F-16 makes, I think it’s exciting.  I think it’s part of being in a lively community. If you want quiet all the time, you should move to Montgomery.”

This was Gene Richards, a former chair of the Burlington-run Airport Commission—who has now been promoted to Airport Director.  Media reports described Richards as a local mortgage broker, banker, and real estate entrepreneur.  Regional officials, downtown business leaders, airline representatives, and the Vermont National Guard all endorsed Richard’s nomination by Burlington Mayor Weinberger to Airport Director. He has no doubt continued to work closely with Mayor Weinberger and other F-35 boosters, including the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, and Commercial Real Estate baron Ernie Pomerleau.  All these boosters share 2 things in common: They all stand to economically or politically benefit from the basing, and they all had taken for granted they can decide important matters like the F-35 basing without public involvement and without suffering any of the negative impacts.

Read rest of article:  http://www.stopthef35.com/the-people-versus-the-military-industrial-complex/

Let’s Make History on the 28th! All Out For the City Council Meeting to Stop the F-35

Stop the F-35 Basing

The Law is on Our Side

Let’s Make History on the 28th!

 

WHAT:          Burlington City Council Public Hearing and Vote on Prohibiting the   F-35 Basing

WHEN:          Monday, October 28. Come early for the “People Before Planes” rally at 5:15. 

                            Public hearing begins at 6:00.

WHERE:        Burlington City Hall, corner of Church and Main

WHY:            This is one of the most significant local decisions of a generation

 

On Monday, October 28, the Burlington City Council will vote on a binding resolution (amended and strengthened based on the recent City Attorney’s legal opinion) to bar the basing of the F-35.

See Resolution to Bar Basing Approved by City Attorney

This is our best chance to stop the basing.

The Stop the F-35 Coalition will hold a rally for People and the Planet Before Planes at 5:15 pm

The public hearing on the resolution begins at 6:00 pm at Burlington City Hall.

A large attendance of people opposed to the F-35 basing from Burlington, Chittenden County, and beyond is essential and will make a difference. We expect a close vote. Bring friends, neighbors, and anyone else you can to stand up for priorities that put people before boondoggle warplanes.

Contact Burlington City Councilors now Ask the City Council to vote for the resolution to bar the basing and oppose sacrificing over 8,000 residents in airport neighborhoods.

Please go to www.stopthef35.com for more information.

New Tactic To Restrict F-35 Gets City Attorney Approval

After reviewing the language, Blackwood said “I don’t see any legal impediment for them to pass that.”
VPR News
Wed October 23, 2013

New Tactic To Restrict F-35 Gets City Attorney Approval

 

By 

A new proposal by Progressives on Burlington’s city council could effectively block the F-35, opponents say.

The resolution, crafted by Councilor Vince Brennan with input from F-35 opposition attorney Jim Dumont and City Attorney Eileen Blackwood, calls on Burlington International Airport director Gene Richards to develop noise and safety standards for the airport.

The resolution (seen here with Blackwood’s markups, which Brennan said he had no problems with) says the new standards must establish that “except for grandfathered uses, no commercial or government airplane using the airport shall have noise impacts from its routine use as measured by the federally recognized DNL noise impact measurement method that significantly exceed present noise levels at the airport. Including any significant expansion of the land area or number of residences within the 65 db or 75 db DNL day-night averages.”

Full article:  http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-tactic-restrict-f-35-gets-city-attorney-approval

 

Former Pentagon Jet Designer Warns of Risks of Basing F-35s at Burlington Airport

Pierre Sprey

 

Pierre Sprey, a defense analyst and co-designer of some of the military’s toughest and most reliable warplanes, was in Burlington Tuesday warning of the potential dangers of basing the F-35 attack jets at Burlington International Airport.

Sprey charged that it would be both “dangerous” and “irresponsible” for the Air Force to base these new and sophisticated jets in a highly populated area such as South Burlington before they’ve logged enough flight time to work out all the bugs.

Sprey further warned that an F-35 crash in or around Chittenden County would produce dangerous levels of highly toxic gases and fibers, due to the burning of all its plastic components and stealth coating materials. He suggested that such a crash would be “a catastrophe of major proportions” that could “potentially blanket blocks and blocks” of residential neighborhoods in deadly gases for days, likening the effects to a “chemical warfare attack” in Syria.

Full Story:  http://7d.blogs.com/offmessage/2013/10/defense-analyst-and-warplane-designer-warns-burlington-of-f-35-safety-risks.html

Pierre Sprey report–Facts about the safety of F-35 Basing in Burlington

FACTS ABOUT THE SAFETY OF F-35 BASING IN BURLINGTON

Pierre Sprey is an internationally recognized expert on military aircraft and critic of the F-35. He was in Burlington on October 22, 2013.

                                                                                                Pierre Sprey   

Download full report here:  Pierre Sprey report–Facts about the safety of F-35 Basing in Burlington-1

 

  1. 1.    All new fighters have high accident rates, much higher than mature fighters and much, much higher than scheduled airliners.
  2. 2.    Basing a new fighter with significantly less than 1 million fleet hours of safety experience in an urban area is likely to expose the residents to accident probabilities that are irresponsibly high.

 

Discussion:

 

The F-16 at 100,000 fleet hours had a cumulative major accident rate (i.e., officially termed Class A Mishap Rate) of 17 per 100,000 hours. By 1 million hours (almost exactly the point when F-16s started operating from Burlington) its cumulative rate was down to 7 and the current cumulative rate at 12,000,000 fleet hours is 3.55. (Note that the current F-16 fleet major accident rate, that is, the non-cumulative rate, is actually running about 1.59, as averaged over the last 5 years).

 

Statistically speaking, there is not much point in looking at the accident rates of fighters with less than 100,000 fleet hours, simply because with such small accident sample sizes, the estimated rates bounce around too much, rendering the estimates too uncertain to be useful.

 

Thus, with only 4500 cumulative fleet hours for the F-35A (10,000 hours for all three variants), no useful direct estimate of the F-35A accident rate can be projected. Note that only F-35A fleet hours are germane to estimating the accident probabilities for Burlington; the accident experience of the F-35B and C is irrelevant because they only have 20% commonality with the F-35A. The fact that, so far, the F-35A has had zero Class A Mishaps is certainly commendable but uninformative. And the zero major accident score is certainly offset by having more early fleet-wide groundings to cure safety problems than any other fighter of the last 50 years.

 

 

The Air Force’s EIS agrees that the F-35 accident rate can’t be directly estimated because of the fighter’s newness.  Reasoning by analogy, the USAF does go on to say that the F-35 major accident rate may be similar to that of the F-22 because the size and technology are roughly comparable. This reasoning overlooks two relevant facts, both of which would increase the likely accident rate relative to the F-22. First, the F-35 has only one engine while the F-22 has two. Second, the F-35 flight computer, weapons system, cockpit/helmet display, control system, and cooling system are significantly more complex than the F-22 (for instance, 9 million lines of computer code versus 1.7 million for the F-22).

 

The F-22 cumulative accident rate, whether germane or not, is now running at about 7.34 major accidents per 100,000 hours with a fleet total of about 130,000 hours. At 16 years since first flight, these fleet total hours are remarkably low (at 16 years after first flight, the F-16 had 4 million hours). The F-35A will have similarly low total hours by 2020 for similar reasons: first, because both airplanes are so complex, they spend so much time in maintenance that they fly less than 12 hours per month; secondly, both are so expensive that the DoD budget can only afford to produce them at a slow rate (20 per year maximum for the F-22 at 11 years after first flight and only19 F-35As per year for the USAF out through at least 2014, with probably no production increase for 3 years longer under sequestration).

 

From the point of view of Burlington area residents, the real issue is the probability of a major accident in any given year. That, of course, depends on the fighter’s actual accident rate and how often it flies per year.

 

The current VtANG F-16s fly 2550 sorties per year (same as 5100 flight operations/yr) from Burlington at 1.3 hours per sortie and have a current (not cumulative) major fleetwide accident rate of 1.59 per 100,00 hours over the last 5 years. That yields a .051 probability of at least one major accident per year (Poisson probability calculation)—or roughly 1 accident every 20 years.

 

Just as an illustrative comparison, a guesstimate for the F-35A accident rate could assign it the same major accident rate as the F-16, since the F-16 is the single engine fighter that is closest in size and performance to the F-35.  When it came to Burlington in early1986 with 1 million hours of worldwide fleet flight time, the F-16 non-cumulative rate was about 7 per 100,000 hours, based on accidents experienced during the next million worldwide flight hours.  Assuming this rate for the F-35A and with the F-35A flying 2250 sorties per year (according to the USAF’s EIS Scenario 1) and about 1.54 hours per sortie (current average), the probability of at least one major accident per year would be .215—or nearly one accident every 4 years.

 

For scheduled airliners (no smaller than 10 passengers), the official NTSB Major + Serious accident rate (the rough equivalent of the military Class A Mishap) is .1217 accidents per 1 million hours over the last 5 years reported (2007 to 2011), about 132 times less than the F-16 hourly rate. These scheduled airliners flew 5681 flights (landing + departure) out of Burlington in 2012, averaging 1.53 hours per flight. That yields a .0011 probability of a major accident in a year—or roughly 1 accident every 945 years.

 

There are, of course, large numbers of flights out of Burlington by much smaller airplanes: air taxis (most of them well under 9 seats) flew 8862 flights (landing + takeoff) and private airplanes (most under 4 seats) flew 18522 flights in 2012, according to Sky Vector. These smaller planes need to be considered separately because their major accidents represent far less of an urban area disaster potential than the much larger scheduled airliners or fighters. Just to give a rough indication of accident likelihood for these smaller aircraft, the air taxi accident rate per flying hour is about 8 times that of scheduled airliners, so air taxis would still have a considerably lower major accident probability than F-16 fighters. Small private airplanes, however, have an accident rate about 40 times greater than scheduled airliners and fly 8 times as many flights out of Burlington, so their accident probability would significantly exceed that of the F-16s.

 

 

 

3. The VtANG claims that by 2020 the F-35 fleet will have accumulated 750,000 hours of safety experience and that will be adequate maturity to a) provide a good estimate of the fighter’s accident rate and b) ensure acceptably safe accident probabilities for basing in Burlington. Statistically speaking, 750,000 fleet hours is marginally adequate for purpose a). Purpose b) would be served if and only if the F-35A fleet demonstrated less than 10 Class A Mishaps in the interval between 250,000 and 750,000 hours.  

 

4. The arithmetic that led to the claim of 750,000 F-35 fleet hours by 2020 is wildly in error. In truth, a decision to base F-35As in Burlington in 2020 would be exposing the Burlington area to a fighter with only about 90,000 to 110,000 fleet hours of safety experience.

 

 

Discussion:

 

 

Given that current F-16 operations in Burlington are exposing the area to a Class A Mishap risk of about 1 every 20 years, it would be hard to argue that it is acceptable for a new F-35 fighter to significantly increase that risk, say by a factor of 2 or 3 or more—most particularly if that new fighter also adds the risk of a major toxicity disaster to any crash in a residential area (as will be discussed below).  The success of the F-16 basing in Burlington—arriving with 1 million hours of fleet experience and demonstrating steady and satisfying accident rate reductions thereafter—sets a convincing precedent for a conservative approach to the fleet hours needed to estimate and mitigate the risk to area residents. Thus, 750,000 hours of fleet experience is marginally acceptable.

 

To keep the risk of the new F-35A fighter close to the 1.59 accident rate of the currently flying F-16s means that the new fighter needs to demonstrate less than 2 Class A Mishaps per 100,000 hours during an adequately long period before the date the F-35 is to be based in Burlington. From a statistical viewpoint, a sample of 10 accidents is barely acceptable for forming an adequately accurate estimate of the true accident rate. Thus, to ensure with adequate confidence an accident rate of no more than 2 per 100,000, it is essential to set a threshold of no more than 10 F-35A accidents in the 500,000 hours before the decision date for basing in Burlington.

 

With regards to correctly estimating the number of F-35 fleet hours accumulated by 2020, the arithmetic is quite simple. Our starting point is the 10,000 hours reported this October 13 by Lockheed for all three variants; the F-35A comprises 42% of the 63 F-35A/B/Cs flying in October and about 45% of the hours or 4500 hours. For those in-service 27 F-35As–plus for every newly produced F-35A delivered thereafter–we calculate that 10 hours per month (present fleet average) gets added to the 4500 hour starting point. The delivery schedule is fixed out to 2017 by the existing LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) contracts. LRIP-5 delivers 22 F-35As (includes export planes) by second quarter 2014, LRIP-6 delivers 23 by second quarter 2015, LRIP-7 delivers 24 by 2Q 2016 and LRIP-8 delivers 21 by 2Q 2017 (these deliveries may well get cut back by the exigencies of sequestration). For our arithmetic, we assume a slight increase to 25 F-35As per year for the following years, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (even this slight increase may not materialize due to continuing budget pressures and large competing programs in USAF procurement plans). The total F-35A fleet hours by second quarter 2020 therefore total 89,460 hours. Should the monthly F-35 hours improve to 12, the 2020 total would be 107,352 hours. Note that only a quarter of the factor of 8 error in the 750,000 hour calculation is due to the VtANG’s mistake of counting all three F-35 variants as providing relevant accident experience.

 

 

 

5.  All largely composite-based  (that is, laminated plastic and carbon fiber cloth) aircraft—whether new generation airliners or fighters—release large volumes of extremely toxic gases and fibers when the flammable plastic burns unextinguishably in a crash. These gases and fibers can blanket an entire neighborhood or can touch down in “hot spots” as far away as 10 to 50 miles, depending on atmospheric conditions.  

 

Discussion:

 

There is a large and growing body of research and technical papers on the fire dangers of composite airplanes, authored by engineers, toxicologists, chemists and combustion scientists. Based on both laboratory experiments plus the real world experience of the 2013 Dreamliner fire in London and the disastrous 2008 B-2 crash on Guam (which burned for two days despite massive fire fighting efforts), there is direct evidence of the flammability of composite fuselages and wings, and of the dangerous toxicity of the clouds of resulting combustion products.

 

The aircraft that pose this new crash danger are the latest generation airliners (Boeing 787 and Airbus A350) and military aircraft (F-22, F-35, B-2 and almost all current drones), all with 30% to 60% or more of composite structure. Many older planes (F-16, F-18) have small composite parts—wing and tail tips, fairings and housings–comprising 2% to 5% of the structure; these planes are not at issue here.

 

The composite fire problem is simple: the plastic adhesives that glue the carbon fiber cloth layers together (mostly related to epoxies or polyurethanes), unlike aluminum structure, can be ignited at well below the temperature of burning fuel. And once ignited, the inner layers continue to smolder (sometimes for 24 to 48 hours) even after firefighters have extinguished the external fires. Epoxies and polyurethanes and their solvents are high on OSHA’s list of dangerously toxic industrial chemicals, even at room temperature; after burning, the combustion products of these same chemicals can become significantly more toxic and corrosive to the lungs and other organs, as well as more carcinogenic. A further risk comes from the clouds of tiny carbon fibers, breathable like asbestosis fibers and laden with adsorbed toxic combustion products.

 

Viewing a video of any crashed airliner or military aircraft burning immediately establishes that there are towering clouds of smoke from the burning fuel that can easily blanket dozens or even hundreds of blocks of residential neighborhoods—particularly in still weather or, even worse, during an inversion. Then consider the effect of mixing in the toxic fumes of 12,300 pounds of burnt F-35 plastic composites (42% of the 29,300 pound empty weight of the F-35 is composites). Just the prompt evacuation problem for residents downwind of such a crash is a nightmare, not to mention the subsequent disastrous load on local medical facilities.

 

Less obvious is the problem of  “hot spots”; these are touchdowns of the crash site’s smoke plume that create locally toxic concentrations many, many miles downwind. Such hot spots have been widely observed in situations as diverse as toxic releases from incinerators or smelters, radioactive plumes from Fukushima and toxic smoke from the Twin Towers of 9/11.

 

At this early point in the history of composite aircraft crashes, the health consequences for people exposed to these toxic gases and fibers are, needless to say, poorly understood or quantified. But the OSHA and toxicological literature do establish some rough safety thresholds for some of the toxins involved, with respect to effects such as pulmonary tissue damage, neurotoxicity and cognitive dysfunction, liver damage, asthmatic crises, kidney damage and/or carcinogenicity.

 

 

 

6. All stealth coatings are highly toxic during manufacture and even more so when they burn, much more so than the already dangerous toxicity of standard composite fires.

 

 

Discussion:

 

There is a long history, dating back to before 1988, of stealth production line workers sickened and sometimes permanently disabled after breathing the toxic fumes of assembly line stealth materials. Some of this history is documented in dozens of lawsuits brought by afflicted workers, most of them unsuccessful because the defendant companies and government agencies invoked national security classification to withhold evidence. The 1980s open pit burning of failed F-117 stealth coating panels at the then-secret Area 51 airbase in Nevada killed two of the pit workers and permanently disabled at least five more who were working at the pits or downwind. This turned into a high profile lawsuit that won a favorable federal court ruling, ultimately blocked by a secrecy directive issued by President Clinton.

 

After the disastrous F-117 experience, the USAF started taking somewhat more responsible health precautions for mechanics repairing B-2 and, subsequently, F-22 coatings. Stealth aircraft manufacturers, however, varied greatly in taking responsible precautions. According to whistleblowers working there, Lockheed was notably irresponsible in exposing F-22 workers, engineers and even office workers to alarmingly toxic fumes from stealth constituents.   As is to be expected, the exact toxic constituents are kept secret by high classification levels. However, it is known that di-isocyanates  and mercury at particularly dangerous levels were involved in the F-22 stealth coatings. Di-isocyanates are one of the most important OSHA listed toxins in the plastics and fiberglass industries, with known long term pulmonary, asthmatic and neurotoxic/cognitive function effects at concentrations so minute that their usually acrid odor can’t even be detected. The F-35 uses yet another generation of stealth coatings, different than the F-22 but known to be very toxic—even though, once again, the constituents are classified.

 

The classification/secrecy problem, in itself, considerably increases the already seriously elevated risks and health consequences of a crash involving the F-35’s stealth coatings. Doctors treating people exposed to known toxins from an unclassified aircraft crash can focus on therapies for specific chemical pathways, particularly as toxicological and medical research in this area continues to make progress. But when a classified aircraft crashes, the doctor is denied knowledge of the toxins released and thus can only treat victims with generic, all-purpose therapies.

Update on the Burlington Resolution:

The law is on our side: Let’s make history on the 28th!

On October 17, the Burlington City Attorney issued a legal opinion on the proposed resolution to bar the basing of the F-35 warplane at the Burlington Airport. With the corrections to the Burlington City Attorney’s memo and the revision to the text of the resolution provided by Stop the F-35 Coalition attorney Jim Dumont, the problems identified in the City Attorney’s memo are easily overcome.  With the corrections, the City Attorney’s memo actually provides a very strong legal basis for stopping the F-35 basing. The amended resolution to bar the basing will be considered by the City Council on October 28th.

 

*Monday, October 28th*

What: Come stand for democratic rights and stopping the F-35 basing

5:15 pm: Rally for People before Planes

6:00 pm: Public Hearing and Council Meeting

Where: Burlington City Hall corner of Main and Church

 

Here are the details for the amended resolution:

By revising the resolution to block all aircraft that make more noise than the F-16 or that pose a greater crash risk than the F-16, the problem of loss of FAA airport funding identified by the city attorney is eliminated. The FAA expressly allows a municipal government to set noise limits and block aircraft from landing that exceed those noise limits so long as the rules are applied fairly to all aircraft without discrimination.

 

Second, the revised resolution will also be consistent with court rulings under which a city can take action consistent within the traditional role of municipal governments to protect the health and safety of citizens, even if there is an effect on the military if that effect is negligible. The Air Force has many alternative locations available for basing F-35 jets, and there is no identified strategic reason for prioritizing basing the F-35 in Burlington. The Air Force itself included several of those alternatives in the Environmental Impact Statement. Because the Air Force itself identified alternatives, there is no possibility that the basing in Burlington can be found to be anything other than of militarily negligible importance. But protecting the health and safety of nearby residents is of immense importance.

And third, the corrections also mean that Burlington will be liable for paying thousands of residents if it shirks its responsibility to do everything it can to protect the health, safety, and home values of thousands of people and permits F-35 basing.

The Burlington City Council has the responsibility and the legal authority to prevent the F-35 basing and its severe harms to many thousands of people.

October 22: Pierre Sprey on F-35 crash and safety risks, Burlington City Hall

Public talk by Pierre Sprey, Co-Designer of the F-16 and the A-10 military jets, international expert, and leading critic of the F-35.

 

What: Mr. Sprey will speak on the crash risk of the F-35, the dangers of composite aircraft fires, and the failings of the boondoggle F-35 program.*

 

When: Tuesday, October 22 @ 7 p.m.

 

Where: Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall, Church and Main St.

 

Who: Everyone who wants to learn more about the problems with the F-35 program and the plan to base the warplanes in Burlington.

 

Free and Open to the Public

 

Sponsored by the Stop the F-35 Coalition  www.stopthef35.com  

The law is on our side: Let’s make history on the 28th!

Update on the Burlington Resolution:

 

The law is on our side: Let’s make history on the 28th!

On October 17, the Burlington City Attorney issued a legal opinion on the proposed resolution to bar the basing of the F-35 warplane at the Burlington Airport. With the corrections to the Burlington City Attorney’s memo and the revision to the text of the resolution provided by Stop the F-35 Coalition attorney Jim Dumont, the problems identified in the City Attorney’s memo are easily overcome.  With the corrections, the City Attorney’s memo actually provides a very strong legal basis for stopping the F-35 basing. The amended resolution to bar the basing will be considered by the City Council on October 28th.

 

*Monday, October 28th*

What: Come stand for democratic rights and stopping the F-35 basing
5:15 pm: Rally for People before Planes
6:00 pm: Public Hearing and Council Meeting
Where: Burlington City Hall corner of Main and Church

 

Here are the details for the amended resolution:  (See Jim Dumont’s response and corrections:   Dumont Response to City Attorney 10 18 13-1)

 

By revising the resolution to block all aircraft that make more noise than the F-16 or that pose a greater crash risk than the F-16, the problem of loss of FAA airport funding identified by the city attorney is eliminated. The FAA expressly allows a municipal government to set noise limits and block aircraft from landing that exceed those noise limits so long as the rules are applied fairly to all aircraft without discrimination.

 

Second, the revised resolution will also be consistent with court rulings under which a city can take action consistent within the traditional role of municipal governments to protect the health and safety of citizens, even if there is an effect on the military if that effect is negligible. The revised resolution will be similar to the Cambridge municipal ordnance that the highest court in Massachusetts found lawful because it protected the health and safety of residents while the effect on the military was negligible. The Air Force has many alternative locations available for basing F-35 jets, and there is no identified strategic reason for prioritizing basing the F-35 in Burlington. The Air Force itself included several of those alternatives in the Environmental Impact Statement. Because the Air Force itself identified alternatives, there is no possibility that the basing in Burlington can be found to be anything other than of militarily negligible importance. But protecting the health and safety of nearby residents is of immense importance.

 

And third, the corrections also mean that Burlington will be liable for paying thousands of residents if it shirks its responsibility to do everything it can to protect the health, safety, and home values of thousands of people and permits F-35 basing.

The Burlington City Council has the responsibility and the legal authority to prevent the F-35 basing and its severe harms to many thousands of people.

Some comments.

 

Here are the public comments made at that same meeting, urging the Council to act on the Resolutions against the basing before the 30-day waiting period is over.

Watch This

This is a video of the speakers at the Rally to support Resolutions before the Burlington City Council – Resolutions that would block the basing.

Welcome to Vermont…

F35 Poster Cover your Ears-1

SEPTEMBER FUND RAISING RESULTS

GOAL – $11,000”

RESULT – “$10,458.50”

This is absolutely AWESOME!!  We barely fell short of our goal, but we were able to pay our attorney, Jim Dumont $10,000.  A heartfelt thank you to all who donated. Your donations in September made a sizable dent in our legal fees. As you know, our legal challenges are critical to oppose the F-35 and they continue until it is over and it isn’t over until the F-35 will not bed down at BTV for at least the first round.

 

The bicycle donated by Rosanne was won by Igor Zbitnoff, a long time, consistent and generous contributor. I will be delivering the bike to Igor today. A big “shout out” to Rosanne for her gift to our cause.

 

Our fundraising effort must continue. Fifty-four people donated in September. We have attorney fees due, our future printing cost, our security fee for our web site and other expenses are necessary to remain viable.

 

We welcome ideas for future fundraising and, of course, donations at anytime on our web site and/or by sending a check to the Peace & Justice Center.

 

Make your tax-deductible donation online at:  www.stopthef35.com/donate or send a check made payable to:Stop-the-F-35/PJC and mail to:

 

Peace & Justice Center
STOP-THE-F-35
60 Lake St. Ste 1c
Burlington, VT 05401

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Roger Bourassa

Treasurer

F-35 OPPONENTS RALLY AT BURLINGTON CITY HALL: URGE COUNCIL TO BAR THE BASING

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See video:  http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/VideoNetwork/2728206744001/F-35-opponents-rally-at-Burlington-City-Hall&odyssey=mod%7Cvideo

F-35 is destroying jobs

Ask a Keynesian: With U.S. Borrowing Capped, Won’t More Pentagon Spending Destroy Jobs?

Robert Naiman, Huffington Post

I claim that the following is a basic economic fact, which all Keynesian economists should readily acknowledge: in the current federal budget political context, in which federal borrowing is capped under the Budget Control Act, and repealing the BCA’s borrowing cap is not under serious consideration; and in which increased taxes on the super-rich, like a Wall Street speculation tax, are not considered politically viable in Washington, unnecessary Pentagon spending destroys American jobs.

Before explaining why we know this fact to be the case, let’s consider two related reasons why this fact matters a great deal right now: the Burlington F-35 basing fight and the apparent return of the proposed federal budget “Grand Bargain.”

In Burlington, Vermont, the city council, which owns Burlington International Airport, is considering a resolution to ban the basing of the noisy, dangerous, problem-plagued F-35 warplane at the city-owned airport.

Read rest of article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/ask-a-keynesian-with-us-b_b_4059484.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

FROM JOSHUA ROONEY – SOUTH BURLINGTON

I have to say, I have grown weary of being on the other end of the “that jet noise is the sound of freedom” argument every time I express my concern over the basing of the F-35 here in Burlington.
It is not the sound of freedom. Freedom is a concept, an intellectual construct, and it has no sound. Saying that it is the sound of freedom is a way to make dissenters like myself look unpatriotic and as if we do not care about those who choose to serve in our armed forces. I love the United States and I have the highest respect for those who choose to put themselves on the firing line. I also don’t want the F-35 roaring over my community with any regularity.
The F-35 is louder than the F-16. The Air Force does not dispute this fact. This is from an article on VT Digger:
“The Green Ribbons postcards [in favor of basing the F-35 here] state that the F-35 will create noise levels similar to the current F-16, that there will be 2,613 fewer operations per year, and there will be no health effects on citizens.
The Air Force responded that while this comment will be noted in the decision-making process, the content is proven false by the EIS. The Air Force’s response states that the F-35s are projected to create more noise than the F-16s, and that there would be fewer operations only if 18 F-35 jets were based in Burlington.”
(http://vtdigger.org/2013/09/27/air-force-eis-addresses-public-comments-f-35/)
Anyone who says that the F-16’s don’t fly everyday, or thinks that it’s only noisy for 6 minutes a day clearly doesn’t spend enough time in the flight paths of these jets. I work in Williston, directly in flight path of the F-16 squadrons when they take-off and land. It is consistent; at least two jets, usually four, spaced about 30 seconds apart, and it happens about three or four times a day, during the work week. The sound is totally overwhelming. If you are having a conversation, even inside, you have to stop and wait until the jets are far enough way. It is frustrating and intrusive. Each squadron, coming and going, eats up about 5 minutes per take-off or landing. That is my experience.
The idea that this noise would get louder is hard to imagine. My co-worker jokes when the F-16’s go overhead, that “these are the quiet ones.” Sure, we also hear the commercial air traffic going overhead; however, the noise and disruption of the non-military aircraft produces is nowhere near that of the fighter jets. It’s comparable to the noise of being near a busy roadway.
So, let me say this: Stop with the sound of freedom nonsense. I support our troops. My father is an Air Force veteran. This is not about the quality of the job they do or making sure they have the best equipment. To imply that I don’t support our service men and women is inaccurate and mean spirited. This is about quality of life and whether or not this particular jet belongs in the heart of Vermont’s most populated and prosperous county. This is a highly populated area. It’s too loud for this area and has too unproven a safety record for this area. This jet does not have to be based here. It can be deployed in an area that is not as densely populated as Chittenden County.
There are other ways to support our troops and the VTANG without bringing in the F-35.
If we must assign a sound to freedom, I would like to see more sounds on the list than only those generated by combat vehicles.

F35: “Loads up like a bomb truck”

“It loads up like a bomb truck with the world’s deadliest air to ground weapons.”

As F-16 designer Pierre Sprey said in 2013, the F-35 will be used as a high altitude bomber.

Watch this 3 minute F-35 promotion video to learn more.

Watchdog report deals another blow to F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

By M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer, NBC News

Hundreds of problems continue to plague the troubled Joint Strike Fighter, potentially calling into question the basic performance and reliability of the costliest weapons program in U.S. history, the Defense Department’s inspector general charges in a new report.

In a 16-month investigation that began in February 2012, the inspector general’s office — an agency within the Pentagon responsible for investigating allegations of waste, fraud, security lapses and other misconduct — identified more than 360 quality “issues” with the F-35 Lightning II — with 147 of them classified as “major.”

Read full article:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/01/20777728-watchdog-report-deals-another-blow-to-f-35-joint-strike-fighter?lite

Cohen: The Myth of Mitigation

THE MYTH OF MITIGATION

The Free Press’ September 28 editorial on the F-35 – which essentially said, learn to live with it— plays into the disinformation campaign that has been waged by politicians and the GBIC.

They consistently talk about “mitigating” the dangers to our area from basing this fighter-bomber in a densely populated neighborhood.

But the whole problem is that the dangers cannot be mitigated. That’s not an opinion. That’s a fact.

The reason why the Air Force states that 8,000 people will end up living in a zone that is “incompatible for residential use” is because mitigation is impossible. That’s why they conclude, “land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative.”

The fact that intense noise blasts from existing F-16s cannot be mitigated is the reason why many homes near the airport are now vacant. The noise blast from F-35’s will be 3 to 4 times louder.

Not one of the politicians or the GBIC has offered any facts to dispute the harm to residents that is detailed in both the Air Force and World Health Organization reports. They have chosen to stonewall and refuse to meet with residents in the area.

But extreme noise blasts are not the only problem. Newly designed fighter jets have a very high crash rate during the first years after they become operational. The Air Force has confirmed this.

That’s why a newly designed fighter-bomber has never before been based at a residential airport such as Burlington’s. They have always been based at military bases in remote areas until the bugs have been worked out.

The F-35 is particularly problematic should a crash occur because it is loaded with 18,000 pounds of fuel and is made from highly flammable composite materials–42% by weight–that emit very toxic fumes and fibers when burned. Moreover, the fire produced from composite materials is far different from fire from a burning metal aircraft.

As the Boston Globe reported, Burlington would not have been selected were it not for political pressure from Senator Leahy. He has stated that he believes it is an honor for the Vermont Guard to be the first recipient of the new Joint Strike Fighter.

I support and respect the men and women in the Guard. However, if being the first to have this plane is an honor, it is one that dishonors the people who live near the airport. This is not being a good neighbor. This is not something whose dangers and noise can be “mitigated”. And it’s a strange kind of honor that seeks to have Vermont be the first base for a botched fighter-bomber that Senator John McCain has called “one of the great national scandals.”

I don’t know if it’s a developer’s bonanza, or honor, or pride, or politics that has caused Leahy/Sanders/Welch/Shumlin/Weinberger to act in lockstep, but I am actually shocked at their callousness in failing to protect the children and adults that will be harmed physically, cognitively, and financially.

The Air Force will not be liable for all of these damages, and neither will the politicians. The City of Burlington will be left holding the bag.

As the landlord of the airport, the City of Burlington has the right to prevent its tenant, the Air Force, from basing F-35s on the City’s property. On October 7, the Burlington City Council has the opportunity, the responsibility, and the obligation to act on a resolution to protect the health and welfare of the citizens living near its airport. May they act in a spirit of care and compassion and reason.

–Ben Cohen, Burlington

AIR FORCE: BURLINGTON IN LINE TO RECEIVE F-35S

It’s Definitely Not Over: The Burlington City Council can still bar the basing, the EIS has major omissions that can challenged, several other legal challenges are in play, and a political decision made at Leahy’s demand can be changed just as quickly.

AIR FORCE: BURLINGTON IN LINE TO RECEIVE F-35S

The Vermont Air National Guard has all but won its bid to obtain a squadron of new F-35 fighter jets, the Burlington Free Press has learned.

“I can confirm on record that Burlington AGS remains the preferred alternative for the first ANG operational bed-down location,” Nicholas M. Germanos, the project manager for studies on F-35 basing, wrote in an email to the newspaper Wednesday.

Read more at : http://www.stopthef35.com/air-force-burlington-in-line-to-receive-f-35s/

Leahy concerned Air Force might pick active-duty base over Guard for F-35s

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is concerned the U.S. Air Force might go forward with basing some F-35 fighter jets with an active military base and make no decision on the question of whether a National Guard facility, such as Vermont’s, would receive the plane.

“This isn’t the first time the Air Force or one of its major commands has tried to put the active force ahead of the Air National Guard,” the senator’s spokesman, David Carle, told the Burlington Free Press.

Click here to read the full article in Burlington Free Press.

Will It Fly?

The Joint Strike Fighter is the most expensive weapons system ever developed. It is plagued by design flaws and cost overruns. It flies only in good weather. The computers that run it lack the software they need for combat. No one can say for certain when the plane will work as advertised. Until recently, the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, was operating with a free hand—paid handsomely for its own mistakes. Looking back, even the general now in charge of the program can’t believe how we got to this point. In sum: all systems go!

 

Greco: A Letter to Vermont’s Congressional Delegation on the F-35

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Rosanne Greco, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who is now a member of the South Burlington City Council.

Dear Sen. Leahy, Sen. Sanders, and Rep. Welch,

For years, people have been asking you to meet with those who will live in the noise zone of the F-35A, and who have grave concerns about its impact on their lives. Most of us are trying to understand why such caring, social justice-minded men, such as yourselves, are acting so out of character by supporting the basing of the F-35A in our neighborhoods; and why you refuse to meet with us. It is baffling to many to think that you would choose the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about, over the health and financial well-being of thousands of average Vermonters.

People are guessing at reasons for your position. Here are some of them:

Assumption 1: You don’t know the facts, since your statements contradict what the Air Force has stated unequivocally.

Read full article

Video: Burlington City Council Meeting 8/12/13

Watch This!

South Burlington City Council meeting 8/19

The South Burlington City Council will be holding a council meeting this coming Monday, August 19 2013 at the Chamberlin School, starting at 7:00 PM.  The focus of the council meeting is to meet with the residents of the airport neighborhood to present information on the long-range plans for the airport, the FAA Home Buy-Out Program and demolition, noise mitigation, and other topics pertinent to the neighborhood, including using the abandoned homes for police, fire, etc training.  (The full agenda can be found by clicking here)
Anyone who now lives in the F-16 noise zone, and/or will live in the F-35A noise and crash zones is strongly encouraged to attend this very important meeting. Even more important is that these people, either in person or through an email, make their concerns known to So. Burlington elected officials.
Come in person, or email your comments and concerns to one, some, or all of the City Councilors, and the interim city manager:
Pam Mackenzie ([email protected]), Pat Nowak ([email protected]), Chris Shaw ([email protected]), Helen Riehle ([email protected]), and Rosanne Greco ([email protected]), interim city manager, Kevin Dorn ([email protected])
Other Important Upcoming Events:
Tuesday, August 20 at 7:00 pm – Save Our Skies VT meeting to organize and help support activities to oppose the F35 basing in collaboration with the STF35 Coalition.  Please RSVP for directions to:  [email protected]
Wednesday, August 21 at 6:30 pm – Stop The F35 Coalition meeting at Burlington College – Learn about the planned efforts to oppose the basing and volunteer opportunities to help.  For more info go to:  www.StopTheF35.com
We’re very grateful to everyone who can participate in this movement, and these meetings will be an opportunity for you to find out what kinds of contributions we need.
Please join us!
If you are unable to attend the meetings or volunteer your time, please consider sending us a monetary donation.  We are always in need of financial support to produce flyers and brochures and to support educational opportunities about this inappropriate and unjust proposal!
You can donate online at www.SOSVT.org or make a check out to: Save Our Skies VT c/o PJC, and send it to:
Save Our Skies VT
PO Box 191
Winooski, VT 05404
Thanks so much, and we hope to see you on at one or more of these upcoming events!
SaveOurSkiesVT.org

Residents Speak Out to Stop the F-35 Warplane Basing in Burlington

In coming months the Burlington City Council will be deciding whether to authorize the basing of the F-35 warplane at its airport. The basing of this super loud plane would be in the middle of Vermont’s most populated and diverse residential community. Residents asked the City Council to take action at this August 2013 meeting.

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Success Depends on Grassroots Leaders

Frank Cioffi, president of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC), opined in the Burlington Free Press that we should applaud the “leadership” of Vermont’s political establishment for their support of the F-35 basing in Burlington. Cioffi says these politicians have recognized the economic benefits, dealt with “complex” issues, and have stood up to the “bullying,” and fear-based “emotional arguments” of “Forty or 50” people who oppose the basing.

Such a mischaracterization would be laughable if the stakes weren’t so high.

For the record: No one from the Vermont Air Guard (VTANG), Congressional delegation, or the GBIC has commented to the Air Force contesting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), including that the F-35 is four times louder than the F-16, that the extreme noise zone will expand to half the houses in Winooski and a portion of Burlington, and that 8,000 people will live in homes not “suitable for residential use.”

Read full article

What to Believe:

Click here to download pdf.

WHAT (AND WHO) TO BELIEVE

ABOUT THE F-35A BASING

Positions on the F-35A can be based on objective facts or subjective opinions. Listed below are the facts and opinions as stated by the opponents and supporters of the F-35A.

 

The facts, as stated by the opponents, come from government documents and professional health organizations, which are based on research and scientific studies. All references are cited.

 

The opinions come from ads, letters, and statements in the press from individuals. Since no source documents were provided to substantiate their statements, one can regard their views as being their own personal opinions or conjecture.

 

 

HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE

Opinions

 

I would unquestionably object to the potential F-35 basing in Vermont if I believed F-35 noise would make Winooski or South Burlington unlivable. But I don’t believe that will be the case. I am not willing to sacrifice any Vermont community for a new fighter jet….In fact, I support the F-35 because I believe its impacts, taken together, will make local communities more vibrant through increased investment.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, June 22, 2012)

 

When asked by reporter, Mark Johnson “Is there anything you could hear that would change your mind and make you oppose this?” Leahy responded “Sure, if it was, if it came, if the report showed that this was a danger to our communities then, ah, of course, I would.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, May 2013)

 

“…F-35 flight operations may represent 6 minutes of minimal inconvenience 4 days a week….”

(Open letter in BFP, October 4, 2012, signed by Pomerleau, Davis, Boardman, MacKenzie, Russell, Nedde, Simoneau, Reilly, Fay, Weisburgh, Michaels)

 

 

 

 

Facts

 

There is sufficient evidence from large-scale epidemiological studies linking the population’s exposure to environmental noise with adverse health effects. Therefore, environmental noise should be considered not only as a cause of nuisance but also a concern for public health and environmental health.”

(WHO p. xvii)

 

There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population.” (WHO p. 105)

 

Noise is generally described as unwanted sound….Noise analysis thus requires assessing a combination of physical measurements of sound, physical and physiological effects, plus psycho-and socio-acoustic effects. The response of different individuals to similar noise events is diverse and influenced by the type of noise, the perceived importance of the noise, its appropriateness in the setting, the time of day, the type of activity during which the noise occurs, and the sensitivity of the individual.” (RDEIS p. 3-6)

 

There are several points of interest in the noise annoyance relation. The first is DNL of 65 dB. This is a level most commonly used for noise planning purposes and represents a compromise between community impact and the need for activities like aviation which do cause noise. Areas exposed to DNL about 65 dB are generally not considered suitable for residential use. The second is DNL of 55 dB, which was identified by USEPA as a level ‘…requisite to protect the public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety,’ (USEPA 1974) which is essentially a level below which adverse impact is not expected. The third is DNL of 75 dB. This is the lowest level at which adverse health effects could be credible (USEPA 1974). The very high annoyance levels correlated with DNL of 75 dB make such areas unsuitable for residential land use.” (DEIS p. C-14/15)

 

“…Federal Interagency Committee (Department of Defense, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Veterans Administration) published guidelines relating DNL to compatible land uses…In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB…” (RDEIS p. C-12-13)

 

The Air Force recognizes that some individuals may feel that they have experienced a reduction in quality of life; however, impacts to quality of life are not possible to quantify, since any potential measurement would be based on a set of subjective experiences that are highly variable among individuals. The EIS does provide several indicators, such as the percentage of the population that would be highly annoyed by noise, as an estimate to predict quality of life impacts.” (RDEIS p GO-17)

 

The EIS quantifies areas and residential populations subject to noise levels of 65 dB DNL or greater in this manner because land use compatibility guidelines, as defined by FICUN and adopted by the DoD, indicate that residential areas subject to these noise levels would be considered incompatible unless additional noise level reduction measures were implemented. Individuals within areas designated as incompatible have an increased potential for annoyance….” (RDEIS p. GO-17)

 

Other studies have reported hearing losses from exposure to aircraft noise.”

(RDEIS p. 30)

 

Since the CHABA (a NIOSH and USEPA commissioned group) report (in 1981), there have been further studies that suggest that noise exposure may cause hypertension and other stress-related effects in adults.” (RDEIS p. C-26)

 

 

 

 

NOISE-RELATED HEALTH AND COGNITIVE EFFECTS ON CHILDREN

 

 

Opinions

 

When asked by reporter, Mark Johnson “Is there anything you could hear that would change your mind and make you oppose this?” Leahy responded “Sure, if it was, if it came, if the report showed that this was a danger to our communities then, ah, of course, I would.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, May, 2013)

 

If the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) or the Department of Education felt there was any impact on children…they would have closed down Chamberlin long ago.”

(Pam Mackenzie, South Burlington City Council Chair, July 2013)

 

…there will be no adverse health effects on citizens.”

(Green Ribbon postcard, July 2013)

 

 

 

Facts

 

Children who were chronically exposed to aircraft noise…had modest (although significant) increases in blood pressure, significant increases in stress hormones, and a decline in quality of life.” (RDEIS p. 30)

 

The research reviewed does suggest that environments with sustained high background noise can have variable effects, including noise effects on learning and cognitive abilities and reports of various noise-related physiological changes. “ (RDEIS p. C-28)

 

In 2002 ANSI refers to studies that suggest that loud and frequent background noise can affect the learning patterns of young children. “ (RDEIS p. C-28)

 

It is generally accepted that young children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of background noise. Because of the developmental status of young children (linguistic, cognitive, and proficiency), barriers to hearing can cause interference or disruptions in developmental evolution.” (RDEIS p. C-28-29)

 

It has been suspected for many years that children’s learning and memory are negatively affected by noise. Over 20 studies have shown negative effects of noise on reading and memory in children…” (WHO p. 45-53)

 

Exposure during critical periods of learning at school could potentially impair development and have a lifelong effect on educational attainment.”

(WHO p. 45-53)

 

The Haines and Stansfield study indicated that there may be some long-term effects (to children) associated with exposure….” (RDEIS p. C-29)

 

“…there is increasing awareness that chronic exposure to high aircraft noise levels can impair learning. This awareness has led the WHO and a NATO working group to conclude that daycare centers and schools should not be located near major sources of noise, such as highways, airports, and industrial sites.”

(RDEIS p. 29)

 

A growing body of scientific knowledge demonstrates that children may suffer disproportionately from environmental health risks and safety risks.”

(Executive Order 13045)

 

PROPERTY VALUES

 

Opinions

 

In my opinion, based on local history, a subjective assessment that it will not have negative impact in the future can be made.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General-Air, 16 July 2012)

 

We have concluded that the basing of the F-35 will not add any significant negative impact to real estate values…”

(Open letter in BFP, October 4, 2012, signed by Pomerleau, Davis, Boardman, MacKenzie, Russell, Nedde, Simoneau, Reilly, Fay, Weisburgh, Michaels)

 

A GBIC analysis of data over a ten-year period showed “that property values within the current 65 DNL area have followed and reflected the overall trend of the County and of the real estate markets outside of the 65 DNL areas.”

(GBIC letter to SB City Council Chair, 24 July 2012)

 

Facts

 

In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB, and the extent of land areas and populations exposed to DNL of 65 dB and higher provides the best means for assessing the noise impacts of alternative aircraft actions.” (RDEIS p. C-13)

 

The study concludes that noise by itself has been shown to decrease property values by a small amount.” (RDEIS p. SO-67)

 

Property within a noise zone (or Accident Zone) may be affected by the availability of federally guaranteed loans. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) guidance, sites are acceptable for program assistance, subsidy, or insurance for housing in noise zones of less than 65 dB DNL, and sites are conditionally acceptable with special approvals and noise attenuation in noise zones greater than 65 dB DNL. … HUD, FHA, and VA recommend sound attenuation for housing in the higher noise zones and written disclosures to all prospective buyers or lessees of property within a noise zone (or Accident Potential Zone). (RDEIS p. C49-50)

 

One paper…suggested a 1.8 to 2.3 percent decrease in property value per dB (increase)….their reviews found that decreases in property values usually range from 0.5 to 2 percent per dB increase of cumulative noise exposure. “

(RDEIS p. C-50)

 

“…the EIS acknowledges the potential and extent of noise from the F-35A has to affect property values.” (RDEIS p. GO-17)

 

Regarding the GBIC study: “The data on which the Winooski analysis rests are ‘extremely small’ and thus ‘statistically unreliable’. In seven of the 10 years studied, no more than five residential properties changed hands (in Winooski). Only nine homes in (South Burlington) were sold to private buyers during the years included in the GBIC study….Over the past decade, the FAA has purchased about 90 houses in that designated excessive-noise zone. Subsequently, they were either demolished or slated for demolition.” Thus, virtually all of the homes used in the GBIC study were purchased with federal money for demolition because of the noise. Dozens of legitimate studies on the impact of airport noise on property values all come to the same conclusion: property values are damaged by high noise.

(Allen & Brooks Inc.)

 

NOTE: “The appraisal of the property to be acquired shall disregard any decrease or increase in the fair market value of the real property caused by the project for which the property is to be acquired…”

(FAA)

 

An analysis of 110 home sales in and outside the Burlington noise zone found the average difference in sale prices was 15% or $33,534. Homes within the noise zones sold for 15% — or on average $33,534 — less than comparable homes outside the noise zone. “The difference is identified as the average amount per property attributable to the negative impact of airport noise on residential property value.”

(Larson Appraisal Company)

 

The seller has a duty to disclose any issues he or she may be aware of….the seller should disclose any problems as truthfully and accurately as possible (on the Seller’s Property Information Report—SPIR). The SPIR was developed by the Vermont Association of Realtors as a way to cut down on lawsuits by buyers against sellers. Whether or not a SPIR is filled out, if it is later discovered the seller was aware of problems and did not disclose them to the buyer, it could be considered misrepresentation or omission under Vermont Consumer Fraud Act, 9 V.S.A. 2451-2480” (Vermont Property Owners Report, Feb-March 2013)

 

A real estate disclosure policy would be developed for land uses within the 65 dB DNL contour, and implemented through revisions to zoning ordinances (ROA Section II. C. 15). Status: Not implemented. The Airport has not actively encouraged the use of Real Estate Disclosures for properties within the 65 dB DNL contour but will be working with the City of South Burlington and the City of Winooski in that regard.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 16)

 

 

 

NOISE LOUDNESS AND TIME

 

Opinions

 

One fact that is known is that that the F35 will be somewhat louder during take-off for approximately six minutes a day, four days a week.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General, 16 July 2012)

 

It’s going to be similar to the annoyances and impacts we’ve had with the F-16 for the past 25 years.”

(Brigadier Dick Harris, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, VTANG, June 6, 2013)

 

“…I do not believe that the F-35 is significantly louder than the F-16, especially when the afterburner is not deployed.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, February 13, 2013)

 

“…the F-35 will create sound similar to the F-16, there will be 2,613 fewer operations per year…”

(Green Ribbon postcard, July 2013)

 

Cioffi said he did not think the noise level of the F-35 would be any different from that of the F-16s that the new jets would replace, based on research by GBIC and on his own personal observation. ‘The two aircraft are so similar that we expect the experience of the F-35 to be the same as the F-16.’

(Frank Cioffi, Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. President, June 4 2013)

 

“…F-35 flight operations may represent 6 minutes of minimal inconvenience 4 days a week….”

(Open letter in BFP, October 4, 2012, signed by Pomerleau, Davis, Boardman, MacKenzie, Russell, Nedde, Simoneau, Reilly, Fay, Weisburgh, Michaels)

 

Facts

 

Table 6.7 in the Executive Summary shows the F-35A would be between 17 dB and 20 dB greater in SEL and between 21 dB and 25 dB greater in Lmax than the F-16 during takeoff and arrival, directly over the receiver at an altitude of 1,000 ft and at an altitude of 1,500 ft over the receiver on a downwind leg of a local pattern operations. As explained in Appendix C, Section C1.1 a change in (single-event) sound level of 10 dB is usually perceived by the average person as a doubling (or halving) of the sound’s loudness. Concur regarding sound pressure doubling with every 3 dB change and by a factor of 10 for every dB change.”

(RDEIS p. NS-40)

 

The effect of the reduction in flight operations (referring to scenario 2) would be offset by the F-35A producing a single-event departure SELs 17 dB greater than the F-16s at Burlington AGS…The contribution of civilian aircraft would be negligible compared to the military aircraft contribution.” (RDEIS p. BR4-33)

 

The effect of the reduction in flight operations (referring to scenario 1) would be offset by the F-35A producing a single-event departure SELs 7 to 17 dB greater than the F-16s at Burlington AGS…The contribution of civilian aircraft would be negligible compared to the military aircraft contribution.” (RDEIS p. BR4-28)

 

A change in sound level of about 10 dB is usually perceived by the average person as a doubling (or halving) of the sound’s loudness, and this relation holds true for loud sounds and for quieter sounds. “ (RDEIS p. C-2)

 

The cumulative nature of DNL means that the same level of noise exposure can be achieved in an essentially infinite number of ways….Areas exposed to noise levels between DNL 65 dB and 75 dB are “normally unacceptable,” and require special abatement measures and review. Those at 75 dB and above are “unacceptable” except under very limited circumstances.”

(FAA Part 150 Report p. 5)

 

Pages C1 through C58 of the RDEIS explain noise, noise modeling, noise metrics, and noise effects. Damage from noise is based on amplitude, frequency, time averaging, maximum sound level, peak sound level, sound exposure level, equivalent sound level, day-night average sound level, number of events above a threshold level, time above a specified level, duration, intensity, unpredictability and the cumulative effect of the noise. (RDEIS p. C1-58)

 

USEPA (in 1974) identified DNL of 55 dB as ‘ requisite to protect public health and welfare….” (RDEIS p, C-18)

 

When considering intermittent noise caused by aircraft overflights, a review of the relevant scientific literature and international guidelines indicates that an appropriate criteria is a limit on indoor background noise levels of 35 to 40 dB Leq, and a limit on single events of 50 dB Lmax.” (RDEIS p. C-20)

 

The Time Above (TA) metric quantifies the amount of time the noise level would be equal to or greater than a selected threshold Maximum Sound Level (Lmax); but the DoD noise model used for this EIS is not yet capable of estimating TA. The EIS provides Maximum Sound Level (Lmax) data for the F-35 and F-16; Table BR3.2.1 as an example.” (RDEIS p. NS-32)

 

There are several points of interest in the noise annoyance relation. The first is DNL of 65 dB. This is a level most commonly used for noise planning purposes and represents a compromise between community impact and the need for activities like aviation, which do cause noise. Areas exposed to DNL about 65 dB are generally not considered suitable for residential use. The second is DNL of 55 dB, which was identified by USEPA as a level ‘…requisite to protect the public health and welfare with an adequate margin of safety,’ (USEPA 1974) which is essentially a level below which adverse impact is not expected. The third is DNL of 75 dB. This is the lowest level at which adverse health effects could be credible (USEPA 1974). The very high annoyance levels correlated with DNL of 75 dB make such areas unsuitable for residential land use.” (DEIS p. C-14/15)

 

 

JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

 

Opinions

 

Basing the F-35A in our state would create jobs, spur economic growth, and increase investment opportunities for Vermont businesses.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, February 13, 2013)

 

Job losses are always hard, but it is important to remember that Vermont currently has the third lowest unemployment rate in the country. Many employers in Vermont are ready to hire those with the skills and education….”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, June 12, 2013 regarding the IBM layoffs)

 

My opinion on the F-35 has not changed…All I can tell you is my support for the F-35 is based upon the thousands of jobs it creates.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, June 4, 2013)

 

 

Facts

 

Under ANG Scenario 1 there would be no net change in the number of military personnel. Therefore, there would be no change to military payrolls or any subsequent impacts to regional employment or income …Additional taxes would accrue…as a result of the increase on construction activities. These impacts, while beneficial, would be minor.” (RDEIS p. BR 4-77)

 

ANG Scenario 2 would result in an increase of 266 military personnel: an increase of 83 full-time and 183 part-time traditional guardsmen…Traditional guardsmen generally hold full-time jobs outside the ANG and train at least one weekend per month and two additional weeks per year with the ANG. …As any increases in secondary employment as a result of the increase in personnel would also be minor and ….would not affect short-or-long-term regional employment and income trends.… Additional taxes would accrue…as a result of the increase on construction activities. These impacts, while beneficial, would be minor (RDEIS p. BR4-78-79)

 

MG Dubie said that the Air Guard would lose maintainer jobs if the F-35A were to be based at the VTANG. At least half of the full-time Air Guard jobs are maintainer jobs.

(Public Hearing, April 19, 2010 at the 45-minute period of the hearing)

 

 

MITIGATION OF THE NOISE

 

Opinions

 

We feel strongly that we can mitigate those impacts (noise problems) by working with the community on the noise issues.”

(Brigadier Dick Harris, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, VTANG, June 6, 2013)

 

Facts

 

Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 29)

 

“…noise barriers provide little, if any reduction, of noise from aircraft that are airborne and can be seen over the barrier.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 35)

 

Therefore noise barriers are not recommended for inclusion in the Part 150 program at this time.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 36)

 

Therefore, soundproofing is considered the least desirable alternative for addressing sound in residential dwellings.” (FAA Part 150 Report p. 46)

 

“…the Air Force and Air National Guard have no plans to acquire or demolish residences as part of the F-35A beddown.” (RDEIS p. BR4-17)

 

“…the Burlington AGS would continue to undertake the voluntary restrictions outlined in the Burlington Noise Compatibility Program Update (BTV NCP 2008). The F-35As would maintain the quiet hours, keep within the specified arrival and departure routes and procedures, as well as ensure that single F-35A flights are flown out of the airport as opposed to simultaneous (or formation) takeoffs.” (RDEIS p. BR4-17)

 

No other extra-ordinary mitigation measure are required beyond those prescribed under existing federal and state laws, regulations, and permit requirements to minimize, avoid, or reduce impacts. “ (RDEIS p. BR4-18)

 

“…the Air National Guard is one of the dominant noise contributors to the DNL contours, as documented in the August 2006 NEW Update…”

(FAA Part 150 Report p. 21)

 

 

FUTURE OF THE VERMONT AIR GUARD

 

Opinions

 

“…over six hundred members of the Air Guard live in the surrounding communities of the airport….and there are over four hundred full time jobs and six hundred part time jobs at the VT Air Guard.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General, 16 July 2012)

 

I would rather protect the mission of the citizen soldiers of the Vermont Guard and maintain 1,100 jobs here in Vermont rather than in South Carolina or Florida.”

(Senator Bernie Sanders, April 20, 2013 and July 26, 2013)

 

The Vermont Air National Guard is a key driver of Vermont’s economy with 1,500 jobs currently attributable to its strong presence.”

(Representative Peter Welch, July 26, 2013)

 

Although I cannot predict what will happen to the Air Guard if the F35 is not based in Vermont, I can definitely say that the unit’s mission will be different and most likely will require a lot less personnel.”

(Brigadier General Steve Cray, Assistant Adjutant General, 16 July 2012)

 

 

 

Facts

 

Therefore, if there is no F-35A operational beddown at Burlington AGS the current mission would continue.” (RDEIS p. PA-47)

 

At each location, there are on-going and currently planned activities and programs that would continue, whether or not the location is chosen for beddown of the F-35A operational aircraft.” (RDEIS p. 2-29)

 

The Air Force plans to upgrade all 1,018 of its F-16s and 175 F-15C/D Eagles to keep them flying until the F-35A joint strike fighter is fully operational and new weapons systems on the F-22 Raptor are installed, according to the 2014 budget request released April 10. In the fiscal 2014 budget request, the Air Force states the service life extension for all F-16s will add eight to 10 years to each airframe, along with upgrades to the fighter’s radars, cockpit displays and other communications interfaces.” (Air Force Times, April 23, 2013)

 

The Air Force is already using service life extension programs to keep F-16s flying while the F-35A are delayed. These jets have seen extensive use in Iraq and Afghanistan and will continue to fly until at least 2030 while the F-35As stand up.” (Air Force Times, May 13, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLITICAL INFLUENCE

Opinions

I feel strongly that none of our state’s Congressional delegation should put our fingers on the scale. All Vermonters deserve to be heard, and I do not want to tamper with the fair and open public comment process.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, June 22, 2012)

 

What I’ve seen of it, there’s nothing that changes my mind.”

(Senator Patrick Leahy, June 4, 2013, responding to the Revised Draft EIS)

 

My opinion on the F-35 has not changed…All I can tell you is my support for the F-35 is based upon the thousands of jobs it creates.”

(Governor Peter Shumlin, June 4, 2013)

 

Facts

 

Other basing factors include, but are not limited to; aircraft production, government budget constraints, national defense policy and political considerations.” (RDEIS p. PI-54)

Prior to the scoping meetings, the Air Force initiated contact with possible interested and affected government agencies, government representatives, elected officials, and interested parties in the states potentially affected…” (RDEIS p. 1-8)

The Air National Guard and the Air Force are working with local and state officials to address specific questions and issues associated with the proposed basing of the F-35A at Burlington International Airport.” (RDEIS p. PI-51)

“…federal, state and local agencies, as well as members of the public, are invited to comment on the Draft EIS.” (RDEIS p. PI-55)

 

 

 

 

 

Source documents for facts:

  • WHO: World Health Organization: Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise, 2011
  • DEIS and RDEIS: Revised 2013 Draft (and 2012 Draft) United States Air Force F-35A Operational Basing Environmental Impact Statement
  • Executive Order 13045: Presidential Order on the Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks, 2003
  • USEPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
  • Vermont Property Owners Report
  • Air Force Times
  • Allen & Brooks, Inc.
  • Larson Appraisal Company (July 2013)

Source documents for opinions:

  • GBIC Report (July 2012)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The facts come from government and health care organizations. The U.S. Air Force Environmental Impact Statement took years to prepare, and millions of dollars to complete. It was prepared by “resource and technical experts in their various fields as noted by their education and years of experience.” (RDEIS p. PI-54) The WHO report contains over 300 scientific meta-analysis studies, which then underwent peer reviews.

The opinions come from those who would benefit economically or politically from the F-35A basing.

The opinions contradict the facts. Both cannot be correct.

Believe government and health organizations — or politicians, big businesses, and developers.

It is your choice. Make an informed one. (August 2013)

Download the F-35A Basing Fact Sheet

Click here to download the pdf: Fact Sheets on F-35A Basing 8-9-2013

Burlington Vermont Air Guard Station

F-35A Basing

Fact Sheets

_________________

(August 2013)

 

 

I. NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS of F-35A Basing at Burlington Air Guard Station

 

A. BASIC FACTS2013 Revised Draft Environment Impact Statement (RDEIS)

 

  1. McEntire JNGB in South Carolina is the environmentally preferable alternative base (Page 2-30).

 

  1. There are negative impacts to the Burlington area in the following categories: noise, air quality, land use, socioeconomics, environmental justice/protection of children, community facilities and public services, ground traffic and transportation, climate change, cumulative effects, and irreversible commitment of resources (RDEIS).

 

  1. LAND USE

 

  • Noise levels increase under both scenarios (scenario 1 bases 18 F-35As; scenario 2 bases 24 F-35As). “In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB….” (Page C-13).

 

  1. Baseline conditions (current F-16s) and F-35A impacts (based on 2010 U.S. census data) are as follows:

 

  • Baseline (F-16s) affects 1,963 acres; 371 residential acres; 1,966 households; 4,602 people; 463 (10%) low-income and 581 (13%) minorities; 11 receptors
  • Scenario 1: 2,252 acres; 564 residential acres; 2,963 households; 6,663 people; 1,064 (16%) low-income and 748 (11%) minorities; 16 receptors
  • Scenario 2: 2,635 acres; 667 residential acres; 3,410 households; 7,719 people; 1,224 (16%) low-income and 856 (11%) minorities; 17 receptors

 

NOTE: AF reports that 4,692 children live in South Burlington and Winooski; but they did not report how many children live and/or go to school in the noise zone. Local assessors estimate there are about 1,500 children in the noise zone.

 

  • Today: 1,963 acres; 1,966 households; 4,602 people; 463 low-income; 581 minorities; 11 receptors
  • Scenario 1: 2,252 acres; 2,963 households; 6,663 people; 1,064 low-income; 748 minorities
  • Scenario 2: 2,635 acres; 3,410 households; 7,719 people; 1,224 low-income; 856 minorities

(Pages BR 4-22, 4-28, 4-33, 4-66, 4-80-83)

 

  1. Of the other Air Guard bases under consideration in the RDEIS, only Burlington has an increase in base residential land use impacts. For example, the residential impact increases by 80% in Burlington. It decreases by 100% at McEntire, SC, and decreases by 71%at Jacksonville, FL (Page ES-70).

 

    • At Jacksonville AGS: 45 households and 170 people (scenario 1); or 57 households and 210 people (scenario 2) will be affected by the F-35A basing (Page ES-29).
    • At McEntire JNGB: 91 households and 245 people (scenario 1); or 120 households and 321 people (scenario 2) will be affected by the F-35A basing (Page ES-37).

 

 

 

B. SAFETY IMPACTS

 

  1. The F-35A is a new type of aircraft; historical trends show that mishaps rates of all types decrease the longer an aircraft is operational and as flight crews and maintenance personnel learn more about the aircraft’s capabilities and limitations….” (Page ES-12).

 

  1. Accident Protection Zones are established at military airfields to delineate recommended surrounding land uses for the protection of people and property on the ground.” These areas in the vicinity of an airfield “have the highest potential to be affected if an aircraft mishap were to occur.” “Similar to APZs, but used at civilian airports, RPZs (Runway Protection Zones) are trapezoidal zones extending outward from the ends of active runways at commercial airports and delineate those areas recognized as having the greatest risk of aircraft mishaps (crashes), most of which occur during take-off or landing” (Page 3-26).

 

  1. “…there have not been enough flight hours to accurately depict the specific safety record for this new aircraft” (Page 3-28).

 

 

C. HEALTH IMPACTS of Noise on Adults and Children

 

  1. The RDEIS uses decades old studies regarding the health impacts to adults and children. More recent studies show overwhelming evidence that noise causes physical and psychological harm to human beings. In the case of children, there is convincing evidence that noise, in particular, aircraft noise, cause cognitive impairment in children.

 

  1. A growing body of scientific knowledge demonstrates that children may suffer disproportionately from environmental health risks and safety risks” (Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks, 2003).

 

  1. Even using old data, the RDEIS still cites studies reporting physical harm from noise.

 

  • Other studies have reported hearing losses from exposure to aircraft noise” (RDEIS Page 30).

 

  • Since the CHABA (a NIOSH and USEPA commissioned group) report (in 1981), there have been further studies that suggest that noise exposure may cause hypertension and other stress-related effects in adults” (RDEIS Page C-26).

 

  • Children who were chronically exposed to aircraft noise…had modest (although significant) increases in blood pressure, significant increases in stress hormones, and a decline in quality of life” (RDEIS Page 30).

 

  • The research reviewed does suggest that environments with sustained high background noise can have variable effects, including noise effects on learning and cognitive abilities and reports of various noise-related physiological changes“ (RDEIS Page C-28).

 

  • In 2002 ANSI refers to studies that suggest that loud and frequent background noise can affect the learning patterns of young children“ (RDEIS Page C-28).

 

  • It is generally accepted that young children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of background noise. Because of the developmental status of young children (linguistic, cognitive, and proficiency), barriers to hearing can cause interference or disruptions in developmental evolution” (RDEIS Page C-28-29).

 

  • The Haines and Stansfield study indicated that there may be some long-term effects (to children) associated with exposure….” (RDEIS Page C-29).

 

  • “…there is increasing awareness that chronic exposure to high aircraft noise levels can impair learning. This awareness has led the WHO and a NATO working group to conclude that daycare centers and schools should not be located near major sources of noise, such as highways, airports, and industrial sites” (RDEIS Page 29).

 

  • More recent studies including those compiled and reviewed in the 2011 World Health Organization Report, “Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise” show overwhelming evidence of harm caused by noise.

 

  • There is sufficient evidence from large-scale epidemiological studies linking the population’s exposure to environmental noise with adverse health effects. Therefore, environmental noise should be considered not only as a cause of nuisance but also a concern for public health and environmental health” (WHO Page xvii).

 

  • There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has adverse effects on the health of the population” (WHO Page 105).

 

  • It has been suspected for many years that children’s learning and memory are negatively affected by noise. Over 20 studies have shown negative effects of noise on reading and memory in children…” (WHO Page 45-53).

 

  • Exposure during critical periods of learning at school could potentially impair development and have a lifelong effect on educational attainment” (WHO Pages 45-53).

 

 

D. ECONOMIC IMPACTS of Noise on Residents

 

  1. In general, residential land uses normally are not compatible with outdoor DNL values above 65 dB…” (RDEIS Page C-13).

 

  1. HUD, FAA, and VA recommend written disclosures to all prospective buyers or lessees of property within this noise area (RDEIS Pages C-49-50).

 

NOTE: “The seller has a duty to disclose any issues he or she may be aware of….the seller should disclose any problem as truthfully and accurately as possible (on the Seller’s Property Information Report—SPIR). The SPIR was developed by the Vermont Association of Realtors as a way to cut down on lawsuits by buyers against sellers. Whether or not a SPIR is filled out, if it is later discovered the seller was aware of problems and did not disclose them to the buyer, it could be considered misrepresentation or omission under Vermont Consumer Fraud Act, 9 V.S.A. 2451-2480” (Vermont Property Owners Report, Feb-March 2013).

 

  1. Properties in noise areas over 65 dB DNL may not be eligible for federally guaranteed loans, program assistance, subsidy, or insurance (RDEIS Pages C-49-50).

 

  1. One study showed a 1.8 to 2.3% decrease in property values per dB increase of cumulative noise exposure (RDEIS Page C-50).

 

  1. Another study showed decreases in property values usually range from 0.5 to 2% per dB increase of cumulative noise exposure (RDEIS Pages C-50).

 

6. “…the EIS acknowledges the potential and extent of noise from the F-35A has to affect property values” (RDEIS Page GO-17).

 

7. There are dozens of economic studies related to noise on property values. Virtually every study, including an FAA study, concludes that airport noise has a negative impact on property values.

 

    • Locally, an independent appraisal company conducted an analysis of 110 South Burlington homes purchased under the FAA buyout program. The average home in the 65 dB DNL noise zone lost 15% (approximately over $33,000) in value because of its location (Larson Appraisal, Airport Noise Impact on Residential Property Values, July 2013).

 

    • A study, conducted by the GBIC, who has been outspoken in favor of the F-35A basing, concluded that noise levels did not affect property values. The study was seriously flawed.

 

      1. It did not address whether the homes were located in the noise zone.

 

      1. Its sample size was extremely small: (15 homes in 10 years in Winooski and 9 homes in 10 years in South Burlington sold to private individuals).

 

      1. It included the FAA buy-out sales in South Burlington as “evidence” that homes are selling well and at market value.

 

        • FAA buyouts require market value purchases; and the appraisal value of the house specifically excludes the fact that the house is located near an airport.
        • These homes were purchased because they were the noise zone of the F-16.

 

      1. It grouped all sales (condo, single family homes, etc) together, thus distorting the sale price of single-family homes.

 

 

8. In South Burlington, 180 homes were identified as being in the 65 and higher dB DNL noise zones for the F-16 (2008 FAA report Page 29).

 

  • The FAA Part 150 Update, dated April 2008, states “…the Air National Guard is one of the dominant noise contributors to the DNL contours, as documented in the August 2006 NEM Update….” (FAA Page 21).

 

  • Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility” (FAA Page 29).

 

  • “…noise barriers provide little, if any, reductions of noise from aircraft that are airborne and can be seen over the barrier” (FAA Page 35).

 

9. The FAA report states what the Burlington airport was required to do…and then finds it did not take the appropriate action. “A real estate disclosure policy would be developed for land uses within the 65 dB DNL contour, and implemented through revisions to zoning ordinances (ROA Section II. C. 15). Status: Not implemented. The Airport has not actively encouraged the use of Real Estate Disclosures for properties within the 65 dB DNL contour but will be working with the City of South Burlington and the City of Winooski in that regard” (FAA Part 150 Report Page 16).

 

  1. To date, over 127 affordable homes in South Burlington have been demolished because of their proximity to the airport and the noise from military aircraft. Another 54 are awaiting demolition because of F-16 noise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYTHS

 

II. ECONOMIC MYTH: It will bring jobs and benefit the area economically.

 

  1. RDEIS states there is NO economic gain under scenario 1. There would be no increase in jobs (Page BR4-77).

 

  1. RDEIS states there would be only “minor” economic effect from the 266 additional military persons (83 full-time and 183 part-time) that would be added under scenario 2 (Page BR4-78 and 4-79).

 

        1. Some or all of the 83 full-time military could be transferred here from other places around the U.S. (Page BR4-78).
        2. The 183 part-time jobs would likely be filled through local recruitment (Page BR4-78).

 

  1. MG Dubie said that the Air Guard would LOSE maintainer jobs if the F-35A were to be based here, but he did not say how many jobs would be lost (public hearing, April 19, 2010).

 

    1. The F-35A will not be maintained at the Burlington Air Guard Station, as is the F-16. The F-35A will be maintained at a centralized location.
    2. At least half of the full-time VT Air Guard jobs are maintainer jobs.

 

 

III. NOISE MYTHS

A. TIME MYTH: The F-35A will cause noise for only six minutes a day, four days a week, and this is a minor inconvenience.

 

  1. The RDEIS spends 58 pages, and cites 184 references and studies explaining noise, noise modeling, noise metrics, and noise effects (Pages C1-58). The noise metrics include:
  • maximum sound level (Lmax)
  • peak sound level
  • equivalent sound level (Leq)
  • sound exposure level (SEL)
  • day-night average sound level (DNL)
  • onset-rate-adjusted monthly day-night average sound level (Ldnmr)
  • number-of-events above a threshold level (NA)
  • time above a specified level (TA)

 

2. The RDEIS analyzes noise effects on the following:

  • non-auditory health
  • annoyance
  • speech interference
  • sleep disturbance
  • hearing impairment
  • performance
  • learning and cognitive abilities
  • children
  • domestic animals and wildlife
  • property values
  • structures
  • terrain
  • cultural resources

 

3. The F-35A will fly 7,296 operations annually under scenario 2, and 5,486 operations annually under scenario 1, with all occurring during environmental daytime hours (between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.) 260 days per year (Page BR4-4).

 

4. Using Air Force projections of 7,296 F-35A operations over 260 days per year, residents will experience unsafe noise levels 28 times per flying day, or one-to-two times per waking hour.

 

5. Ads claiming six minutes of noise per day count only F-16 takeoff noise, ignoring noise produced on landing and during overhead pattern events from F-16s and other aircraft. But even just six minutes a day is more than 12 times the safe standard.

 

 

 

B. NOISE LOUDNESS MYTH: The F-35A will sound similar to the F-16.

 

1. The RDEIS states the F-35A would be between 17 dB and 20 dB greater in SEL; and between 21 dB and 25 dB greater in Lmax than the F-16 during takeoff and arrival….” (Page NS-40). F-16 take-off noise in military power setting is 94 dB Lmax; F-35A take-off noise in military power setting is 115 dB Lmax (Page BR4-21).

 

2. “A change in sound level of about 10 dB is usually perceived by the average person as a doubling (or halving) of the sound’s loudness….” (Page C-2).

 

3. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that the safe time for 115 dB (assessed F-35A noise on take-off) is 14 seconds. 

 

4. The RDEIS says even though F-35A flight operations would be less than the F-16 flight operations, “The effect of the reduction in flight operations would be offset by the F-35A producing a single-event departure SELs 17 dB greater than the F-16s at Burlington AGS” (Pages BR4-28 and 4-33).

 

5. Any claim that draws conclusions from a single incident of noise ignores science and health studies that show damage from noise is cumulative; and even just a few minutes of tremendous noise, repeated over time, has significant health consequences.  Recent scientific analysis clearly shows that extended exposure, even at small intervals, to excessive noise causes irreparable health damage. 

 

  • Damage from noise is based on amplitude, frequency, time averaging, maximum sound level, peak sound level, sound exposure level, equivalent sound level, day-night average sound level, number of events above a threshold level, time above a specified level, duration, intensity, unpredictability and the cumulative effect of the noise (RDEIS Pages C1-58).

 

  • The cumulative nature of DNL means that the same level of noise exposure can be achieved in an essentially infinite number of ways….Areas exposed to noise levels between DNL 65 dB and 75 dB are “normally unacceptable,” and require special abatement measures and review. Those at 75 dB and above are “unacceptable” except under very limited circumstances” (FAA Part 150 Report Page 5).

 

  • When considering intermittent noise caused by aircraft overflights, a review of the relevant scientific literature and international guidelines indicates that an appropriate criteria is a limit on indoor background noise levels of 35 to 40 dB Leq, and a limit on single events of 50 dB Lmax” (RDEIS Page C-20).

 

  • USEPA (in 1974) identified DNL of 55 dB as ‘ requisite to protect public health and welfare’….” (RDEIS Page C-18).

 

 

 

 

C. NOISE MITIGATION MYTH: The Vermont Air Guard can mitigate the noise.

 

  1. According to the FAA Part 150 Report, “Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility” (FAA Part 150 Report Page 29).

 

  1. Neither the Air Force nor the Air Guard has “plans to acquire or demolish residences as part of the F-35A beddown” (RDEIA Page BR4-17).

 

  1. The only mitigation measures listed in the Air Force report are to operate the F-35A in the same manner as the F-16s: keeping the same flight schedule, employing single takeoffs, and not flying at night (Page BR4-17).

 

  1. Yet, F-35A supporters claim the Air Guard pilots can fly the F-35A quieter than the F-16.

 

  • The Air Force report clearly states the F-35A is 3-4 times louder than the F-16.
  • The Air Guard cannot reduce the noise of the F-16, which they have flown for decades.
  • In fact, the noise of the F-16 has increased in recent years, and the pilots are unable to mitigate the noise of the plane they now fly.
  • How credible then is their claim to alter the noise of a plane they have never flown?

 

 

 

IV. FUTURE OF THE VERMONT AIR GUARD MYTH: If the F-35A does not come here, the

Guard Station will close.

 

  1. The Air Force stated that “…if there is no F-35A operational beddown at Burlington AGS the current mission would continue” (RDEIS Page PA-47).

 

  1. No public official (military, government, or politician) has EVER said the base will close if the F-35A is not based here. (Scare tactics imply the base will close.)

 

  1. MG Dubie said in a press conference in July 2012, that if the F-35A does not come here, the base MAY get SMALLER (meaning the Air Guard).

 

  1. BG Cray stated at a press conference in July 2013 that he could not predict what would happen to the Air Guard if the F-35A is not based in Vermont, but he did say that the unit’s mission would be different and most likely would require a lot less personnel.

 

  1. However, in April 2013, the Air Force announced it was upgrading all of the F-16s to keep them flying until the F-35A is fully operational. The Air Force stated it intends to keep the F-16s flying until at least 2030.

 

  1. Nonetheless, there are other missions for the Air Guard, including drones, anti-terrorism missions, and cyber security.

 

  1. The F-35A basing does not affect the VT Army Guard, which comprise the majority of the Vermont National Guard.

 

    • The Army Guard has approximately 4,000 members.
    • VT Air Guard is authorized 1,130 members: 730 part-time military (one weekend a month), and 400 full-time military and civilians members. BG Cray stated that over six hundred members of the Air Guard live in the surrounding communities of the airport.
    • Guard members often come from other states to serve their monthly weekend Guard duty. It is unclear how much of the reported $53 million in salaries are paid to Vermonters.

 

  1. Even were the Air Guard Station to close, it’s doubtful that it would have a significant economic impact on our area. Over the past three years, our area added 4,250 new jobs (1,400 new jobs per year).

 

9. Two possible outcomes are:

 

  • The Air Guard Station closes entirely 20 years from now, and 400 Air Guard members lose their full-time jobs, and 730 Air Guard members lose their part-time (one weekend a month) jobs.
  • The F-35As arrive here five years from now, and 1,500 of our children suffer physical and cognitive impairment, over 7,719 local residents lose their quality of life, a decrease in home values, and are trapped in houses that the federal government labels unsuitable for residential use.

 

10. Comparison to the closing of the former Plattsburg AFB is absurd.

 

    • Plattsburgh was an active duty base with over 5,000 full-time active duty personnel, in an area (Plattsburg) with a population of around 20,000.
    • The Burlington Air Guard Station has 400 full-time personnel, in an area with a population (Burlington and South Burlington) of around 60,000.
    • The economy of Plattsburgh recovered in half of the time expected (12 years versus the estimated 25 years).

 

 

 

V. NATIONAL SECURITY/ GUARD SUPPORT/ PATRIOTISM MYTHS: National Security, Guard Support, Patriotic duty depend on the F-35A being based here

 

A. National Security

  1. Military experts, politicians, and academics agree that the current major threats to the U.S. are terrorism and cyber-warfare.
  • Fighter-bombers have no role in countering these threats in the U.S.

 

  1. The only threat from military aircraft comes from Russia and China.
  • Vermont is a poor location to respond to these threats.
  • Current F-16s are more than sufficient to defend the U.S.; are more reliable, have better performance characteristics, and cost 75% less than the F-35A.

 

  1. The F-35A can and might carry nuclear weapons.
    • This makes an F-35A base a huge target for terrorists/other enemies.
    • AF has had recent problems with nuclear weapons security.

 

 

B. Vermont Air Guard Support

 

  1. Supporting the Guard means looking long-term. Actively recruiting and accepting new missions which counter current and future threats to our democracy is the best way to ensure a stable future for the VT Air Guard.

 

  1. Supporting the Guard means providing all the services our Guard families need when their Guard member is deployed, and most importantly all the services the guardswomen and guardsmen and their families need when they return to Vermont from war zones.

 

 

C. Patriotism

 

  1. Patriotism does not mean blindly accepting whatever weapon system defense contractors propose and politicians support.

 

  1. Patriotism does not mean bankrupting our country so huge defense contractors can stay in business.

 

  1. Patriotism does not mean that defense contractor executives and shareholders should be the ones who profit most from astronomically expensive weapon systems.

 

  1. Patriotism means supporting what is best for our citizens, including a good job for all who can work, a health system that cares for all regardless of economic status, education that allows all individuals to reach their potential, social security in their old age, and safe housing for everyone.

 

  1. Patriotism means supporting our troops and ensuring that they and their families are taken care of financially and medically. Yet our government is planning to pay for costly and questionable weapon systems, such as the F-35A, by reducing (firing) military personnel; eliminating civilian jobs; freezing military salaries; cutting our troops’ benefits; slashing their families’ benefits; increasing veterans’ health care costs; and cutting programs for homeless, disabled, and unemployed veterans.

 

 

 

VI. SCORING SHEET Problems

 

A. PURPOSE of the Scoring Sheet

 

  1. The Air Force devised a scoring methodology to explain how bases were chosen. This was done to preclude future disputes and lawsuits such as the one filed against the F-35A basing at Eglin AFB, in Florida. It was intended to bring more transparency to the process.

 

  1. The scoring sheet rated the bases in four areas: Mission, Capacity, Environment and Cost (Page 2-25).

 

    • Mission related principally to whether the airspace around the facility would be able to accommodate the flying sorties of the F35A, and how the weather impacted visibility. {60%}
    • Capacity related to whether the existing facilities (hangers, maintenance units, simulator bays, munitions, runways, etc.) would be able to accommodate the F-35A. {25%}
    • Environment related to existing air quality, zoning and land use controls, and existing encroachment (meaning “incompatible development”). {5%}
    • Cost related to the base’s construction costs and is tied to the cost-of-living. {10%}

 

B. PROCESS Problem

 

  1. Unlike the other criteria, which evaluated whether the airspace and facilities could accommodate the futureneeds of F-35A, the encroachment area (under environment) was related to the current situation—what exists now for theF-16.

 

  1. Rather than ask if there would be incompatible development in the F-35A accident and noise zones around the airport, they asked if there was currently incompatible development in the F-16 accident and noise zones around the airport.

 

    • Since there are different accident and noise zones for the F-16 and the F-35A, (the F-35A noise and crash zones are much larger than the F-16s) it is not logical to assume that the presence or absence of buildings, or the numbers of buildings, for the current F-16 would be the same for the F-35A.

 

C. DATA Problem

 

  1. Two questions in the ‘Encroachment’ area under the ‘Environmental’ category were answered incorrectly. Those questions were:

 

    • Is there incompatible development in clear zones and/or accident potential area?” and
    • Is there incompatible development in noise contours above 65 dB DNL?”

 

  1. The answer marked for both questions was ‘No’ meaning that there were NO incompatible buildings in either area (accident and noise). Burlington thus received 3 points for each question (6 total).

 

  1. But, there is incompatible development in both areas (accident and noise); meaning Burlington should not have received 6 points.

 

  1. Burlington Air Guard Station received a total score of 91.021 on the scoring sheet given to Senator Sanders in June 2012.

 

  1. For over a year, citizens, the media, and lawyers have been requesting to see the scores of the other Air Guard Stations, especially Jacksonville Air Guard Station in Florida and McEntire Joint National Guard Base in South Carolina, to confirm whether or not another Guard base scored higher than Burlington.

 

    • South Burlington City Council requested this from the Vermont Congressional Delegates in July 2012, and was told that the Air Force would not release it to them.
    • The Air Force denied two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to get the scoring sheets for other bases.

 

6. In June 2013, a slide from an Air Force briefing was leaked. This showed the scores of all six bases (three active duty Air Force bases, and three Air Guard bases) under consideration. According to a New York Times press report, this slide (and score) came after the scoring sheet that was provided to the VT congressional delegation in June 2012. And, both scoring sheets preceded the creation of the EIS. On this slide, Burlington received an overall score of 87.1, which was lower than either of the other two Air Guard bases, Jacksonville and McEntire. No explanation was given for why Burlington’s scores were lowered, or why an outdated scoring sheet was given to Senator Sanders.

 

Canceling Lockheed F-35 Said to Be Among Pentagon Options

Canceling the $391.2 billion program to build Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter jet is among options the Pentagon listed in its “strategic review” of choices if forced to live with automatic budget cuts, according to people familiar with Defense Department briefings.

Read full story

We won’t let the F-35 take off

Stop the F35 Demo in BurlingtonThe Vermont Air National Guard, the state’s Congressional delegation and leading business forces are campaigning to win the basing of Lockheed Martin’s new F-35 warplane at Burlington International Airport. But this has been met with a growing grassroots movement to stop the basing that has gained national attention. The Stop the F-35 Coalition opposing the basing has been gaining ground.

Read full article

July 13th Rally Photos

 

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July 13th Rally Video

VT Digger: F-35’s in Vermont 10 Reasons to say no

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

South Burlington VT

In his Op-Ed, Steve Allen writes, “The Air Force recently released a revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement, relating to proposed basing of the F-35s in Vermont, and are soliciting input from the public until July 15. There are passionate advocates on both sides of this debate and everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to express their views. I oppose the basing. Here are 10 reasons why.”

Click here to read Mr. Allen’s complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

WPTZ-TV NBC Affiliate: F-35 Opponents Take Message To The Street

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

WPTZ-TV reporter, Vanessa Misciagna, reports “hundreds march against the (F-35) fighter jet” (today in a Rally held at Burlington City Hall aimed at Mayor Miro Weinberger. The protestors then marched down Main Street to Congressman Peter Welch’s office, back up Main Street to Senator Patrick Leahy’s office, and down Church Street to Senator Bernie Sanders office before concluding back at City Hall).

Click here to watch Ms. Misciagna’s complete video report here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

BFP: Protesters rally in Burlington against the basing of F-35s

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Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Burlington VT

Burlington Free Press reporter, Matt Ryan, reports, “The rally began with a collective booing of Vermont’s congressional delegation, Burlington’s mayor and the South Burlington City Council, who have all voiced support for the basing of the F-35 at Burlington International Airport. When a woman in the crowd shouted out, “And Shumlin!” the protesters proceeded to also boo Gov. Peter Shumlin.

They also cheered for the Winooski City Council, which voted unanimously Friday to ask the Air Force to remove the South Burlington airport from a first-round list of basing options for a fleet of F-35s.”

Please click here to read Mr. Ryan’s complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

Call to Action! [email protected]

The day after the Citizens’ Hearing at the UU Church in Burlington, the United States Air Force issued their revised Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) thus triggering a 45 day legal window for public comment that closes July 15th, 2013!!! Everyone MUST email Nicholas Germanos at the email address below and tell him why THE F-35’s SHOULD NOT BE BASED IN VERMONT. Please tell everyone you know: your kids, your spouse, family, neighbors, people you work with, and get them all to send emails as well! THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL!! Click on the following link to email to Mr. Germanos at Langley AFB. [email protected]

Mailing address: (in case you can’t email)
Mr. Nicholas Germanos
HQ ACC/A7PS
129 Andrews Street, Suite 332
Langley AFB, VA 23665-2769
or email him at: [email protected]

Here is a recap of the most significant issues facing our Vermont communities from the proposed F35 basing:
· It will harm 1,500 of our children: physically, emotionally and cognitively
· It will lower home values of 4,000 households
· It will degrade and possibly destroy the quality of life of 8,000 people
· It will risk the lives of thousands of people because of a greater probability of crashes from an warplane with no established safety record
· It disproportionally negatively affects minorities and low-income people
· It will pollute our environment
· The AF says the F-35 will bring environmental harm to our communities
· The AF says that Burlington is NOT the environmentally preferred base
· Substantive errors were made in the scoring process
· Substantive errors were made in the Draft EIS
· There are many unanswered questions about the base selection process
For more information about the negative effects of the basing, please review the Talking Points section on this website.
Thank you for your courage and conviction in opposing this attack on our Vermont values of environmental stewardship, protection of our people, children and the Vermont quality of life.
Please help protect Vermont – act now to Save Our Skies from the F35s!
Ask your friends and family, whether they live in Vermont or not, to support you in opposing this proposed basing and to send in their comments. We desperately need as many voices of opposition as possible. The proponents have launched an amazingly expensive mail campaign offensive to drown out our voices, and we need your help to spread the word.
Act Now! DEADLINE: JULY 15, 2013

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BFP: Winooski City Council finalizes vote against F-35 basing

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Friday, July 12th, 2013

Winooski VT

Burlington Free Press journalist, Joel Banner Baird, reports from tonights Winooski City Council meeting that, “The Winooski City Council voted 5-0 Friday evening to ask the Air Force to remove the South Burlington airport from its first-round list to base a fleet of F-35 fighter jets.

The council’s decision — finalized after meetings Monday and Wednesday nights — does not preclude the possibility of basing F-35s in the future, but rejects basing the aircraft at this time. Winooksi Mayor Michael O’Brien also said that he would vote against basing F-35s while the issue is still debated.”

Click here to read Mr. Baird’s entire article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

BFP: F-35 Debate on Noise grows louder as critics challenge Guard comments

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Burlington VT

Burlington Free Press journalist, Sam Hemingway, quotes Progressive Party Chairman, Martha Abbott, stating, “(on Friday), the state Progressive Party urged its members to join Saturday’s (2pm downtown Rally & March at City Hall in BTV) against the F-35.

“The Air Force’s own studies say basing the F-35 in South Burlington could leave up to 3,000 homes and 7,000 people in a zone ‘generally not considered suitable for residential use,’” Progressive Party Chairman Martha Abbott said in a statement. “A disproportionate number of those affected would be low-income and immigrant Vermonters.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

 

Seven Days: The Scoreboard This Week’s Winners and Losers

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Burlington VT

In his weekly roundup scoreboard of Winners and Losers in the State of Vermont, journalist Paul Heintz reports the Winner, “F-35 coverage — The South Burlington City Council said it now supports basing F-35s in town. The Winooski City Council said it now opposes the planes. A group of medical professionals said they’re “bad for our children’s health.” And the Vermont Air Guard said they’re “the right fit” for Vermont. Like ’em or not, America’s next fighter jets were the talk of the town in Chittenden County this week.”

AND

A tie goes to “The kids — Shumlin had an adorable audience of little kiddies Wednesday when he announced a new public-private partnership to expand access to pre-school in Vermont (They even kept us reporters on our best behavior). Asked during the presser at Williston’s Heartworks School whether he worried about the potential health impacts of F-35s on children, the gov said he didn’t know enough to comment. But when WPTZ’s Stewart Ledbetter asked Heartworks founder Louise Piche how kids at the pre-school react when F-16s fly overhead, she said some are “fascinated,” but others “really feel anxiety” and “cover their ears.”

Click here for Mr. Heintz’s complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

Center For Media And Democracy: Video Interview of Dr. Jean Szilva on F-35’s Health Concerns to local populations around BIA

Friday, June 12th, 2013

Burlington, VT

Richard Kemp interviews Dr. Jean Silva on F-35 health concerns and health impacts to the local populations around the Burlington International Airport.

Please click here to watch this video interview.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

WPTZ-TV NBC Affiliate: F-35 opponents question military’s environmental review

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Burlington VT

Journalist David Charns reports, “According to the revised EIS, Burlington is the only spot on the Pentagon’s radar where more people would be affected with the F-35 than the F-16. Burlington is the only community of six proposed alternatives where the number of people affected by noise increase. The EIS also stated a South Carolina base as the preferred environmental alternative, making Burlington not preferred.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

VT Digger: both sides gear up as deadline for public input on F-35 report looms

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

VT Digger reporter, John Herrick, reports, “Videos, petitions, fliers, hearings and protests are marking the final days before the public comment period on the F-35’s environmental impact statement closes Monday.

Opponents are making noise, staging protests and holding public forums. Supporters, for the most part, are quieter, circulating petitions and distributing postcards addressed to the U.S. Air Force.”

Click here to read Mr. Herrick’s full article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: Winooski mayor says not so fast: not opposed to F-35

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Winooski VT

Free Press reporter, Joel Banner Baird, states, “(Mayor) O’Brien doesn’t want his vote against the basing of F-35’s to be construed as opposition.

A day after the Winooski City Council unanimously voted to inform the U.S. Air Force it disapproves of local basing for its new, noisier F-35 jets, the mayor (who votes with the council) said his stance has been misinterpreted.

“My interest was not to oppose the F-35,” O’Brien said. “I was trying to reach a compromise with different factions out there.”

Click here to read Mr. Baird’s entire article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: Air Guard Sticking to Its Guns on Basing F-35 in Vermont

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Colchester VT

Seven Days journalist, Kevin Kelley, reports from Camp Johnson interviewing both General Dick Harris and Lieutenant Col. Finnegan who say, “The F-35 remains “the right fit” for the Vermont Air Guard, its top officer declared on Thursday — one day after the Winooski city council voted unanimously to oppose local basing of the plane.

During a 90-minute press briefing at Camp Johnson in Colchester, Gen. Dick Harris (pictured) and other Air Guard officers disputed that the F-35 would be significantly louder than the existing fleet of F-16s.

They also challenged the assertion by Vermont medical experts that many local residents exposed to noise levels now produced by the F-16 will suffer negative health effects.”

Click here for the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

WRUV Radio: Interviews Chris Hurd on all things F-35 and upcoming events

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Burlington VT

Click here to listen to the entire radio interview.

Deb Reger’s interview on University of Vermont radio’s WRUV with Chris Hurd from the local Burlington community is part of the Stop the F-35 group that is resisting the military expansion of the Burlington International Airport to house the F-35 military planes. The Burlington City Council has voted to support this and citizens are concerned. He tells us a personal story about a neighbor that is affected and tells about a rally and March on Pomerleau Real Estate, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernard Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch this Saturday, July 13 at Burlington City Hall at 2pm. This is a permitted AND Family Friendly Event. You are urged to attend and have your collective voices heard!

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

VPR: Winooski City Council Unanimously Against F-35

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Winooski, VT

Vermont Public Radio journalist, Sarah Harris, reports in both this written and radio report.

Click here to read and listen to what she witnessed.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: After Public Forum, Winooski City Council Opposes Basing of F-35s

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Winooski, VT

Seven Days journalist, Taylor Dobbs, reports, “Winooski’s city council voted 4-0 Wednesday against basing F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport. The council will formally request that the Air Force take Vermont out of consideration for this round of basing decisions for the next-generation warplane.

The crowd erupted into applause, though, after Councilor Seth Leonard introduced language that took a clear stand.

Leonard read from a prepared document what he hoped the council would say: “In the interest of protecting the public health, quality of life, and economic rights of its citizens, the City of Winooski resolves that the Burlington Airport be removed from consideration for the current basing of F-35 fighter jets.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: winooski city council votes against F-35 basing

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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Winooski, VT

Free Press reporter, Joel Banner Baird, states, “City Council opposes basing of F-35 Jets at Burlington International Airport. The vote is NO. Unanimous. 4-0.

To cheering and applause, Winooski’s City Council decided unanimously Wednesday night to oppose the military’s consideration of deploying new, noisier F-35 fighter jets to the Vermont Air National Guard base at Burlington International Airport.

Health and property-value issues topped the resolution’s list of why the warplane belongs elsewhere.”

Click here to read Mr. Baird’s complete article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: Winooski council weighs F-35 response tonight

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Winooski VT

Freeps reporter, Joel Banner Baird, reports “The Winooski City Council is expected to announce tonight its degree of support for the local basing of new, louder F-35 jets at Burlington International Airport.”

Click here to read Mr. Baird’s complete article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: F-35 Foes Pile on the Data as Battle Builds over Local Basing Plan

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

South Burlington

Click here for the entire article.

Seven Days Journalist, Kevin Kelley, reports on last night’s “At a forum entitled “Last Call for Kids,” three Vermont medical experts warned that the F-35 will have potentially acute physical and mental consequences for those living in areas subject to the highest decibel outputs.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

VT Digger: New Members Turn the tide as South Burlington City Council Votes to Back the F-35 Basing

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Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

South Burlington VT

Click here to read the entire article.

VT Digger journalist, John Herrick, reports, “In May 2012, the council voted 4-1 to oppose the basing of the F-35 with the Vermont Air Guard at Burlington International Airport. In response to a recent request that the council restate its position since adding two new members since the previous vote, the council voted 3-2 in support Monday night in a session attended by about 200 residents.

“Therefore, my vote against basing the F-35 in South Burlington, is a vote for our children,” Greco said, before receiving a standing ovation from other opponents in the room.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: SoBu Council Supports F-35 Despite Strong Opposition at Noisy Meeting

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

South Burlington VT

Click here to read Mr. Kelley’s entire article here.

Journalist, Kevin Kelley, reports on last night’s contentious SO BU City Council Meeting. “But as the opposition slowly swelled, speaker after speaker decried the feared impact of a plane that the Air Force acknowledges is significantly noisier than the F-16. Neighborhoods abutting BTV have already been devastated by the din of airport operations, several opponents said, citing the federal government’s purchase and demolition of scores of homes inside a high-noise zone deemed unfit for human habitation.”

Asked after the meeting whether the council’s vote represents a setback for the anti-F-35 coalition, Chris Hurd, one of its leaders, insisted, “We don’t look at it that way. We look at what happened here as more fuel for our fire.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

WPTZ-TV NBC Affiliate: Neighbors unleash for and against F-35

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

South Burlington VT

David Charns, a reporter for WPTZ-TV says, “Both City councils in South Burlington and Winooski heard from neighbors and business owners about whether or not the panels should support or oppose the basing of the F-35 at Burlington’s airport.

Click here to read the article and watch the video.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: F-35 critics who say noise harms kids will hold public meeting Tuesday 7pm Chamberlin School in SB

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

South Burlington VT

Burlington Free Press reporter, Sam Hemingway, reports, “Greco and other F-35 opponents are hosting a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Chamberlin Elementary School in South Burlington to discuss the studies and hear from several area doctors on the impact of aircraft noise on young children.

Chamberlin School, on White Street, is less than a half-mile from Burlington International Airport, the closest of five schools in the designated noise zone for the F-35”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: Winooski council postpones official stance on F-35

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Monday, July 8th, 2013

Winooski Vermont

Burlington Free press reporter, Joel Banner Baird reports, “At the end of a two-hour public forum that delivered a decidedly unfavorable verdict on the new, noisier plane, the council voted unanimously to postpone discussion of an official response until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Concerns over possible health risks posed by regular, even brief episodes of high noise levels — particularly to children — dominated the list of concerns voiced by residents Monday.

Other opponents of a local F-35 “bed-down” in the area cited a likely erosion of property values and of the city’s precarious claim to an improved economic outlook, as well as apparent inconsistencies in how the Air Force scored Burlington’s suitability.

Of about 50 speakers, only a handful praised the possibility of the aircraft upgrade at the Vermont Air National Guard.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: S. Burlington council reverses itself, now supports F-35 basing at airport

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Monday, July 9th, 2013

South Burlington, VT

Burlington Free Press reporter, Sam Hemingway, reports that, “Among those that spoke, opponents outnumbered supporters by a 3 to 2 margin.

When the speeches ended, the council did what nearly everyone in the room expected: It voted 3-2 to endorse having the F-35s replace the Vermont Air National Guard’s aging F-16 fleet.

“We will be sending a letter to the Air Force in favor of the bed-down,” Pam Mackenzie, chairwoman of the council, said later Monday night.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: After Heated Public Debate, Winooski City Council Still Undecided on F-35s

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Monday, July 8th, 2013

Winooski, VT

Seven Days journalist, Taylor Dobbs reports, “The council delayed any action until Wednesday after hearing from more than 50 Winooski residents, only five of whom voiced explicit support for the basing. The vast majority said the warplanes, which would replace F-16s currently based at Vermont Air National Guard base at Burlington International Airport, threatens health and quality of life in the city.”

Please click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: The New York Times reports on Vermont’s F-35 Story

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Burlington VT

Seven Days reporter Paul Heintz reports that “The New York Times on Friday became the latest national news outlet to cover Vermont’s long-simmering fight over whether the state will host a squadron of F-35 fighter jets.

Click her to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: Posts The Scoreboard – The Week’s Winners and Losers

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Burlington VT

Seven Days journalist, Paul Heintz, reports that one of this week’s “Winners” is the ongoing spotlight on the negative effects of basing F-35 Warplanes in Vermont read on… “F-35 publicity — First came the Boston Globe. Then Harper’s. Now the New York Times.”

Click here for the full article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Last Call For Kids

stop the F-35 documentary Movie excerpt: Vermont F-35 Sound Demonstration

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Burlington VT

Film documentarian, Corey Hendrickson, released this short 3 minute 12 second excerpt which details the recent F-35 Sound Demonstration directed at Burlington Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin respective offices in Vermont’s largest city and the state capitol.

Click here to watch the video excerpt.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

The New York Times Reports: Battle over fighter jets in vermont heats up

VERMONT-1-articleLarge

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

New York, NY

Click here to read the entire article.

An excerpt from today’s The New York Times written by journalist, Theo Emery, reports, “A 2010 scoring chart provided to The New York Times showed that before the decision was announced, the base at Burlington received the lowest score of three guard finalists for the F-35s. But the Air Force said that those scores were discarded and Burlington was declared the preferred destination after more qualitative criteria were applied. Similarly, the base in Utah scored second in its field, according to the chart, but was declared the preferred combat base.

Critics have speculated whether politics informed the process. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat and the senior member of the Senate, is a chairman of the Senate National Guard Caucus and a longtime advocate for the Air National Guard and its officers.

In one earlier scored assessment, when more bases were under consideration, Burlington received 91 points out of 100. But after a visit by Air Force officials, the score fell to 87.1, the number on the chart provided to The Times. McEntire Joint National Guard Base in South Carolina received an 87.4, and the Air National Guard base in Jacksonville, Fla., received a 91.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

The Worker’s Center Video: People Before Planes Stop The F-35 Warplanes

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

The People’s Media Project based in Vermont produced a 9 minute 24 second video for the Vermont Worker’s Center which has just been released for public viewing.

Please click here to watch the entire video:

The producers say, “For over 40 years, the US Air Force has based the F16 planes at the US national guard station at the Burlington airport in South Burlington, VT. The Burlington airport is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, with many families and low income people living in the area.

Five years ago, the air force modified the way the F 16 planes took off, dramatically increasing the noise levels. As a result, many residents surrounding the airport could no longer live in their homes. Through a federal program, 200 homes in South Burlington have been bought and families moved out. These homes now sit vacant.

Now there is a proposal for the Air Force to base the F35 at the Burlington airport. The F 35 is a new warplane under development that would be up to 4 times as loud as the F16s. Basing the F 35s at the Burlington airport would result in 7,700 people living in an area that the Air Force deems not suitable for residential use” In addition, residents in Winooski and Williston would live in the crash zone for the F35.

Millions of dollars from corporate developers and business groups have been spent to bring the F-35’s to Burlington. These developers are interested in expanding the airport and building hotels and other commercial properties. This will be much easier when thousands of working class people are forced to leave their homes because of the impacts of the F 35s.

This is the story of everyday people organizing to stop the F 35s, and demanding that their elected representatives put people before planes and corporate interests.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

WHO studies on children

Download the pdf of the list of WHO studies on children, or just view it here.

WHO_studies_on_children

July 2013 Events

Monday July 8th, 6:00 PM – S. Burlington C.C Meeting – The City Council will have a public hearing on the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington International Airport. We urge your attendance and your voices.

 

Monday, July 8th, 6:00PM – Winooski CC Meeting – The Winooski city Council will hold an F35 Public Forum on the basing of the F-35 at the Burlington International Airport. The Council will hear public testimony, then meet again on Wednesday, July 10th at 6:00PM to vote on a resolution either opposing or supporting the basing. We urge your attendance and your voices.

 

Tuesday July 9th, 7:00 PM – Chamberlain Elementary School, 262 White St in South Burlington. The Citizen Alliance for People Over Planes is hosting a public meeting about the effects of F35 noise levels on our children entitled, “Last Call for Kids: A Public Hearing on the F-35 and Children”

 

Startling new information on the harmful effects of aircraft noise on children will be presented. A representative from the U.S. Air Force may also be in attendance to discuss the F-35A basing process and to answer questions.

 

The purpose of the event is to share this new information about the F35’s projected health hazards, and to give the people who are affected by this basing decision the opportunity to ask questions, express their concerns, and make comments.

 

Citizen Alliance for People over Planes

[email protected]

 

Saturday July 13th, 2:00 PM Rally starting at Burlington City Hall – The purpose of this rally is to express to the Congressional Delegation and our State leaders our disappointment in not listening to our voices in a public hearing setting to answer our questions and to hear our concerns. We will walk to the offices of Welch, Sanders and Leahy, hearing short speeches at each stop, and concluding at City Hall. We need speakers, many people with signs and a lot of enthusiasm. This rally will be our final event before the July 15thdeadline for comments to the Air Force on the final DEIS.

 

Monday July 15th, – Last day to mail public comments to the Air Force regarding the basing of the F-35 at the BIA. Comments can be communicated in several forms of mail. The easiest is to go to the “stopthef35.com” web site and respond to CALL TO ACTION by clicking on Nick Germanos’ email. The email will come up on your screen and send a message as to why you do not want the F-35 to be based at Burlington International Airport. Comment bullets are available with this information.

Or you can email him directly at: [email protected]

 

Secondly, you may send a slow mail letter to Mr Nicholas Germanos, HQ ACC/A7PS, 129 Andrews St. Suite 337, Langley AFB VA 23665-9900.

 

The final method is to fill out a post card that a supporter of the F-35 will make available.

 

We need to communicate as many of these comments as possible to the Air Force. Encourage friends, family, etc. to do the same no later than Monday, July 15th, 2013.

 

Vermont Commons: Citizens’ Hearing on F-35 draws hundreds

Citizens Hearing (Burlington, Dylan Kelley, 2013)011-420x280

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Burlington VT

(sorry folks I missed this earlier but very well crafted article by journalist Dylan Kelley)

Vermont Commons Dylan Kelley reports on the recent Citizens’ Hearing held to a capacity crowd at Burlington’s Unitarian Universalist Church (atop Church Street) on May 30th, 2013.

Click here for the complete article.

An excerpt: “Most compelling of the speakers on Friday evening was “Gramma” Carmine Sargent, a resident of the South Burlington and emerging leader of the growing movement to stop the expensive aircraft so near to affected communities. “There could’ve been a better way to do this” said Carmine as she acknowledged the false logic of the aircraft’s property de-valuing affect in a region already stressed by low housing availability and homelessness. Emotionally recalling the slow decline of her neighborhood on the 41st anniversary of moving into her home, Carmine recalled the feeling of a community hollowed out “I felt like my little area of the world became little Detroit. I felt like I was a bystander in my own life. The F-35 feels like the final act of bringing the wrecking ball to our neighborhood: Our homes are our greatest assets, we deserve a say in what happens.” In closing, Sargent set a new bar for both the tone of the movement to oppose the F-35 as well as those passionately taking stances on other issues around the Green Mountain State, underscoring the point of the growing movement was not about being anti-military or anti-development, but pro-community: “It’s time to talk about what we’re for, not just what we’re against” she said, drawing enormous cheers and a standing ovation from the packed sanctuary of the U.U.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Vermont Public Television (VPT): Stuart Ledbetter and John Dillon report in Vermont This Week’s Tuesday’s sound demonstrations making Headlines

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Burlington, VT

Journalists Stuart Ledbetter and John Dillon on Friday night’s Vermont This Week report on the sound demonstrations which occurred Tuesday afternoon (6/25/13) in Burlington at City Hall directed at Mayor Weinberger and in Montpelier at the Governor’s office. Once you click on the link that follows fast forward to find the story beginning at the 23:37 minute.

Click here to hear the report.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Questions and Response by Captain Gookin

	From: James Marc Leas [mailto:jimmy@vermontpatentlawyer.com]
	Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2013 12:07 PM
	To: Gookin, Christopher J CPT USARMY NG VTARNG (US)
	Cc: Lauren Victory WPTZ; David charns WPTZ; WCAX; John Briggs;
stop-the-f35;
	Kevin Kelley; VPR2; Other Paper 2; Dumont Jim;
[email protected]
	Subject: F-16 afterburner and mitigation

	Dear Cpt. Gookin,
	I am delighted with the statement by General Cray on Thursday,
provided in
	the Burlington Free Press article, "Air Guard: F-35's ability to
take off
	fast limits noise concerns--Commanders meet with media to discuss
new
	fighter jet"

<http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130606/NEWS02/306060035?source
	=nletter-top5>
<http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130606/NEWS02/306060035?source
=nletter-top5> 

		At the start of the Thursday media session, Adjutant Gen.
Steve Cray
	pledged that his administration will be as "open and transparent as
we can."
	Cray was sworn in as the leader of the 4,000-member Vermont National
Guard three months ago.

	At the same news conference, the Free Press reports this statement
about
	noise mitigation:  "We feel strongly that we can mitigate those
impacts by
	working with the community on the noise issues," Brig. Gen. Richard
Harris
	told reporters during a meeting at the Guard's headquarters at Camp
Johnson.

	In view of the commitments to being open and transparent and to
mitigation,
	would you please answer the following questions about the
afterburner:

1. When were the F-16 planes fuel tanks moved from under the fuselage to the wings on the VTANG F-16 fighters?
2. Was the move of the fuel tanks to the wings responsible for increased use of afterburner?
3. Did the increased use of afterburner cause more noise in the region of the Burlington airport entrance?
4. What measures did the Vermont Air National Guard take at that time to mitigate the noise from the afterburner?
5. What measures did the Vermont Air National Guard take at that time to avoid the need for $40 million of federal taxpayer funds to be allocated 
to purchase 200 affordable homes near the airport entrance and for many of the families to be voluntarily bought out at full price and relocated
and 55 of the homes to be demolished so far?
6. Were the F-16 planes at any other Air Guard or Air Force base not converted to wing-mounted external fuel tanks?
7. How many F-16 planes are in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes?
8. How many of the F-16 planes in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes were converted to wing mounted external fuel tanks?
9. How many of the F-16 planes in the entire Air Force inventory of F-16 planes were not converted to wing mounted external fuel tanks?
10. Do any of the F-16 planes with wing-mounted external fuel tanks not require use of the afterburner for takeoff?
11. In view of the Vermont Air National Guard commitment to mitigate noise will the Vermont Air National Guard reconsider the move to
wing-mounted fuel tank and resume use of the fuselage mounted external fuel tank?
12. How did the Vermont Air National Guard determine that moving the external fuel tank to the wing would reduce metal fatigue and extend
service life of the aircraft?
13. Was the determination based on computer modeling? If so, has this computer modeling showing that adding weight to the wings reduces
metal fatigue been verified?
14. What part or parts of the F-16 is subject to greater metal fatigue in the absence of the heavier weight on the wings provided by the wing
mounted external fuel tank?
15. How long would the part or parts subject to metal fatigue have been expected to last both without the move of the external fuel tank to the wings 
and with the move?
16. What is the cost of replacing that part or those parts in the event they do wear out?
17. Was the cost of replacing that part or those parts considered in view of the displacement of 200 families from afterburner noise and the $40
million of taxpayer money to buy them out?

	Thank you very much for the commitment to being open and
transparent. I look
	forward to your prompt response to these relevant questions.
	best regards,
	James Marc Leas

Response:

Mr. Leas,

Thank you for your continued interest in the F35 basing process.  As you know the Vermont Air National 

Guard has a long history of safely operating fighter aircraft at the Burlington International Airport.  

As responsible community partners, the Air Guard complies with FAA and Air Force regulations and 

standard operating procedures.  Depending on mission requirements the Vermont Air Guard has 4 

different wing-tank configurations they have used since 1986.  Power setting at take-off is a combination 

of configurations, gross weight and weather condition.

As far as the housing purchase you refer to, the Burlington International Airport is the lead agency for 

that program.  They work under guidelines of the FAA.  I would recommend your questions be directed 

to those two agencies.

The questions regarding metal fatigue and service life are beyond our scope to answer.  We recommend 

you contact F-16 Special Program Office, part of Air Force Material Command located at Wright 

Patterson AFB.  

The Vermont Air Guard is committed to being a good neighbor and will work with the community to 

minimize any impacts of the F-35 basing.

Captain Chris Gookin

State Public Affairs Officer

Correcting a postcard…

F35postcard

These businesses are actively promoting the F-35 basing in Burlington:

They have been giving out Pro-F-35 postcards and pressuring customers with Pro-F-35 petitions in the checkout line. The information on their materials is inaccurate. Please avoid doing business at the following places:

Garry’s Barber Shop – Essex Jct
5 Corners Variety – Essex Jct
Central Beverage – Essex Jct
O’Brien Town & Country – Williston
Bagel’s Plus – Williston
Dick Mazza’s General Store – Colchester
The Dam Store – Milton
Beverage Warehouse – Winooski
Merola’s Market – Burlington
Waggy’s Store & Deli – Burlington
Handy’s Lunch – Burlington
Aviation Deli – South Burlington
The Citro Agency/Allstate Ins.  – South Burlington

Seven Days: You Must Check Out “The Scoreboard: This Week’s Winners and Losers” Section

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Burlington VT

Seven Days Journalist, Paul Heintz, reports in his ever popular weekly roundup entitled, “The Scoreboard: This Week’s Winners and Losers” column after this week’s Opponents of The Stop The F-35 Coalition’s F-35 Live Sound Bomb Demonstrations aimed at Burlington Vermont’s Mayor Miro Weinberger and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin office windows for their total disregard for up to 8,000 South Burlington, Winooski and Williston residents whose homes will be placed in a noise zone the FAA and nine other federal agencies deem as “unsuitable for residential use”. See who the reporter listed as this week’s numero uno “loser” and “Runner-Up Winner”!

Click here for Mr’ Heintz’s entire Week’s Scoreboard.

“Losers:

Eardrums — The Air Force ain’t the only ones making a racket these days. Anti-F-35ers brought the noise to Burlington’s City Hall Park and downtown Montpelier on Tuesday, demonstrating just how loud those planes might be. Runner-up winner: F-35 protesters, whose media savvy improves with every passing week. These guys sure know how to play us media hacks.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Wall Street Journal: Pentagon Mulls Delay to Lockheed’s F-35 Program

Friday, June 28th, 2013

New York, NY

Journalist, Julian E. Barnes, reports “move to slow stealth fighter plane production is weighed to cut spending”.

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Fox 44-TV ABC Affiliate: F-35 Protestors Play Sound in Downtown Burlington

22685916_BG1

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

Fox 44 Journalist Kristen Tripodi reports, “Protestors with the group Stop the F-35 say they amplified the sound to 115 decibels; the sound level they say an F-35 would create flying one thousand feet overhead.

“There’s no way this is compatible with residential use,” said Richard Joseph, with Stop the F-35.

An issue the Vermont Air Guard has repeatedly addressed; stressing the planes can be flown in a way that minimizes noise.

But protestors say the issue is the day- after day exposure.

“It is the six minutes a day of all these planes taking off all the time. Four days a week at the minimum, 260 days a year that is the cumulative effect, that’s what we need to focus on,” said Chris Hurd, with Stop the F-35.

After the sound was played for six minutes, David Harrison who lives across the street from the demonstration was upset with the disruption.

“The walls were shaking; the pictures were shaking on the walls. I had dishes rattling. But isn’t it the same thing happening with the F-16s?,” ask Harrison. Protestors answered: “Yes, yes it is.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Marine Corps Times: Vermont F-35 Opponents Demonstrate Noise at Vermont Governor’s Office in Montpelier

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Washington DC

In this report, Chris Hurd, organizer and member of the Stop The F-35 Coalition says,“Part of the role of government is to protect the people,” Hurd told Gov. Shumlin’s Secretary of Administration, Jeb Spaulding, “and therefore the government should prove the planes put nobody in harm’s way, including children.”

“Why doesn’t the (Vermont) governor come out and vet this entire process?” Hurd said.

Please click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Politico: Vermonters Fight F-35 Noise With Noise

Wednesday June 26th, 2013

Washington DC

Politico reports: INDUSTRY INTEL — VERMONTERS FIGHT F-35 NOISE WITH NOISE: Some residents from South Burlington, Vt., are banding together to fight the possibility of the F-35 Lighting II being based in their backyard. Despite support from Vermont Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders for the plan to replace an F-16 plant with the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighters, the South Burlingtonians complain the aircraft will be too loud.

Later today, the group will simulate how much noise the F-35s could make in a demonstration at the South Burlington airport, according to an event invitation circulated by Winslow Wheeler of the Project on Government Oversight. “We don’t want to do this, and we apologize upfront to all Vermonters,” the email says. “Unfortunately, we are forced into doing this demonstration so that you can hear for yourself with 2,200 pounds of extremely sophisticated audio equipment the actual colossal noise generated by an F-35 and so minimized by all our Vermont political, business and military leaders.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

WCAX-TV CBS Affiliate Video: F-35 Opponents Demonstrate Noise at City Hall in Burlington Vermont

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Burlington, VT

WCAX-TV Journalist, Kyle Midura, reports “Burlington residents heard a sample of what people living near the airport may hear if the Vermont National Guard lands the military’s newest fighter plane.

Click here for the full video.

Opponents of the plane blasted recordings of the F-35 for six minutes in downtown Burlington Tuesday morning. They say they set the volume at a level consistent with the level in the Air Force’s environmental impact statement.

Organizers of the event say they want to put things into perspective for those outside the flight path. But not everyone agrees.

“Those folks– this is what they experience right now, with the F-35s coming here. That noise contour will expand to 3,400 that will experience what that gentleman just experienced,” said Chris Hurd, who opposes the F-35.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

 

WPTZ-TV NBC Affiliate Video: F-35 Opponents Sound Off Against Plane – This Time Literally

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Burlington and Montpelier VT

Protestors publicly blast plane sound.

Journalist, Lauren Victory reports, “Members of the Stop the F-35 Coaliton gathered in Burlington’s City Hall Park around 11 a.m. and warned bystanders of a loud demonstration.

They then blared what they said is the recording of an F-35 taking off from a Texas facility. Some grimaced as close to 115 decibels played for six minutes. The group said it was were simulating what people will be exposed to if the F-35s are based in Burlington.

“You’re making so much noise, you’re vibrating the stuff on my walls,” said a very angry David Harrison. He lives across the street and wasn”t pleased with the presentation. “You wouldn’t appreciate if you had this going on at your house,” he said.

“Exactly, exactly! You’re absolutely right! Exactly our point! Thank you!” shouted the group of protestors.”

Click here for the entire story and video.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Associated Press: VT F-35 Opponents Demonstrate Their Noise at the Governor’s Office in Montpelier

bilde-3

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Montpelier VT

Associated  Press journalist, Wilson Ring, interviewed a passerby during today’s F-35 sound/noise demonstration. “Cordelia McKusick, of Shelburne Falls, Mass., was walking by the Statehouse with a friend when they were drawn to the noise. She called it “intensive and disturbing. “It felt like there were airplanes coming,” McKusick said. “It’s just an incredible sound.”

Chris Hurd, a member of the Stop The F-35 Coalition that sponsored the event  said “the speaker system they used could only produce the 115 decibel level for those standing close to the speakers. The planes themselves would produce the 115 decibel level at 1,000 feet, he said.”

One of the opponents carried a sound meter that hit about 115 decibels, making it impossible to hear or speak when standing even about 100 feet in front of the speakers.

Please click here for the entire AP article

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

 

BFP Article: Disturbing The Peace

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

Journalist, John Briggs, reports “F-35 opponents blast warplane sounds for six minutes in downtown Burlington, Montpelier; public officials don’t show up.”

Mr. Briggs adds, “Opponents mounted massive speakers on a trailer and cranked a recording of an F-35 taking off at Lockheed Martin facility in Dallas up to 115 decibels — the sound level generated by the F-35 at military power take-off, according to the Air Force’s Draft Environmental Impact Study.”

Click here to read Mr. Briggs’s article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

WCAX-TV CBS Affiliate: VT F-35 Opponents Demonstrate Noise at City Hall Park

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Burlington VT

Journalist, Kyle Midura, reports, “Burlington residents heard a sample of what people living near the airport may hear if the Vermont National Guard lands the military’s newest fighter plane.” Mr. Midura further adds, “opponents of the plane blasted recordings of the F-35 for six minutes in downtown Burlington Tuesday morning. They say they set the volume at a level consistent with the level in the Air Force’s environmental impact statement.”

Click here to read his report and watch the video.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

 

VPR Updated: F-35 Opponents Stage Audio Protest

F35_NOISE_DEMO

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Montpelier, VT

VPR Journalist, John Dillon, reports “opponents of basing the F-35 fighter jet at the Burlington airport cranked up the volume Tuesday in Montpelier and Burlington to give the public an audio preview of what they say the planes would sound like. Hurd said the sound would reach 115 decibels, what the jet would sound like on take off at about 1,000 feet away.”

Mr Dillon adds, “The supporters of the plane have maintained that six minutes a day is all that this is going to be, and it’s really minimizing what the situation is,” he said. “The impact on hearing is not a single event; it is a cumulative event, the World Health Organization has stated, and that the politicians seem to want to ignore. Today, for this demonstration we’re only going to do six minutes, six minutes a day, that’s all.”

Click here for the complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

 

VT Digger: Videos and Article as Activists Blast Montpelier with Sound of the F-35

ChrisHurdF-35demonstrationStatehouseSLIDER-300x249

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Montpelier, VT

Journalist, Anne Galloway, reports that Chris Hurd, of Stop the F-35, a group that opposes the basing of the fighter jet at Burlington International Airport, played the roar of jet engines outside the Burlington mayor’s office and the governor’s office in Montpelier.

Hurd prefaced the demonstration with a short speech to reporters in which he castigated the state’s political leaders for refusing to meet with residents that would be in the flight path of the jet fighter.

“Let me first say we don’t want to do this and we apologize upfront to all Vermonters,” Hurd said in prepared remarks. “We don’t want to expose anyone to the staggering noise generated by an F-35 warplane. We don’t believe in it.

Please click here to see both videos and read Anne’s complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Seven Days Article & Video: F-35 Foes Amp Up Protest in City Hall Park

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Burlington VT

Journalist, Kevin Kelley, reports “Passers-by cringed and covered their ears as opponents of the F-35 staged a noisy demonstration in Burlington’s City Hall Park on Tuesday morning.”

It wasn’t the chanting and drum-banging typically heard at protests that was causing those within earshot to wince in pain. It was what organizers said was a replication of the roar the F-35 would produce over downtown Winooski at an altitude of 1000 feet after takeoff from the Vermont Air Guard base at Burlington International Airport.

“You’re making my walls vibrate!” a nearby resident complained to protest leader Chris Hurd at the conclusion of the six-minute-long blast of sound. David Harrison, who lives at 141 Main Street, told Hurd, “You’re disturbing businesses across the street.”

A couple of the F-35 opponents gathered for the media event responded in unison, “That’s exactly the point.”

Click here to read Kevin’s complete article and video.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

BFP: Video of F-35 Opponents Bring the Noise to Downtown Burlington

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Burlington VT

Videographer Tim Johnson of the Burlington Free Press brings you today’s F-35 Sound Simulation at City Hall in Burlington Vermont. Trying to simulate the 115 dB sound level they say the F-35 creates at takeoff, protesters pump jet noise through an array of speakers on Main Street by City Hall Tuesday morning.

Click here to view Tim’s video coverage.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Air Force Times: VT F-35 Opponents Demonstrate Noise

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The Air Force Times, A Gannett Company, reports on F-35 sound/noise demonstration simulation at City Hall in Burlington Vermont and outside the Governor’s office in the state’s capital in Montpelier, VT.

Click here to read the article

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

What you can do right now:

 

Dear Friends & Allies,

 

To those who were able to make it, thank you so much for being a part of the Citizens’ Hearing at the UU Church in Burlington on May 30th! It was wonderful to see so many people come out to learn about the F-35A and the proposed basing in Vermont. We were thrilled to meet so many of our neighbors who share our concerns and opposition to the proposed basing! We hope you enjoyed the event.

  

You have probably heard that the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Revised DEIS) was released by the Air Force on May 31st, and we hope you’ve been following the important discussions about noise, real estate, health, crash zones, and the design problems of the F-35 that have been so prominent in the media ever since. Exciting info that supports our cause!

 

NOW, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT & HELP!

 

ACTIONS

 

1. Op-Ed’s to the Press

We need people to flood the press with Op-Eds! If you have a few moments, please write up a short paragraph, expressing why YOU oppose the F-35A basing in VT. Send these to the Burlington Free Press, Seven Days, The Other Paper, and any other media source you can think of.  

2. Write to the Air ForceThe deadline is July 15th!

We need EVERYONE to write to the Air Force to express opposition to the proposed basing. This is ESSENTIAL! Tell them why you think the basing is bad, unjust, unwise, harmful, etc. Individual letters carry the most weight, and the Air Force IS paying attention to this! Send your letter to:

Mr. Nicholas Germanos

HQ ACC/A7PS

129 Andrews Street, Suite 332

Langley AFB, VA 23665-2769

 

EVENTS

1.   City Council Hearings on the F-35 Basing July 8th,

South Burlington & Winooski

Both towns will host Public Hearings on the same night. It is likely that new Resolutions will come out of these discussions, so it’s ESSENTIAL that opponents show up in huge numbers, expressing their opposition to this basing, with both factual information and passion! Show up and be heard! And invite everyone you know to attend!

 2.  Citizens’ Hearing #2 July 9th, UU Church, Burlington, 7:00 pm

We ran out of time to engage in a robust Q&A session at the first Citizens’ Hearing. We want to hear from YOU! It’s ESSENTIAL that we bring in at least as many people as attended the first Hearing, so please mark your calendars and invite everyone you know! Bring your questions and comments! Stay tuned for more detail about this event in the coming week or so!

3.  DemonstrationJuly 13th

We will need a large crowd to gather for a peaceful demonstration in front of Senator Leahy’s Burlington office two days before the end of the Public Comment period to protest his refusal to meet with opponents of the F-35.

Stay tuned for the exact time and what you should bring to the rally.

  

Thank you so much for your support!

 

All the best,

Citizens Alliance for People Over Planes

 

Boston.com reports: F-35 Opponents To Demonstrate Noise

Monday, June 25th, 2013

Boston, MA

On Tuesday some of the opponents played recordings of the planes taking off in both Burlington and Montpelier, amplified to about 115 decibels, said to be the maximum sound the planes would make on takeoff.

Please read the complete article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Associated Press: F-35 Opponents to Demonstrate Noise

Tuesdau, June 25th, 2013

Montpelier, VT

The Associated Press reports that ‘opponents of a plan that could bring F-35 fighter planes to Vermont are going to be demonstrating what they say is just how loud the planes are.”

Please read the complete article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

BFP: F-35 Sound Demo Planned for Tuesday at Offices of the Vermont Governor and Burlington Mayor

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Monday, June 24th, 2013

Burlington, VT

Journalist John Briggs reports, “Opponents of basing the F-35 warplane at Burlington International Airport will hold a demonstration of the sound of the planes Tuesday in front of the offices of Governor Peter Shumlin and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger.”

The organizers of the protest apologized for the sound they will create, saying, “We don’t want to expose ANYONE to the staggering noise generated by an F-35,” but said the refusal of the Vermont congressional delegation, Shumlin and Weinberger to discuss the plane’s basing with the public has made the demonstration necessary.

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Code Pink: Follow The Money F-35 Basing in Vermont Sweet for Developers

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Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

New York, NY

Authors Medea Benjamin and James Mark Leas ask “is the Vermont Air National Guard being used for corrupt purposes having nothing to do with its military mission? The answer is yes. Big time. And for big money. In the article, “Those who “Fudged” Should not be Allowed to Judge” we described how military brass fudged their own scoring process to get Senator Leahy’s home state of Vermont on the list as the “preferred alternative” for basing the F-35. We know who loses: thousands of Vermonters whose homes are in noise and crash zones. This article will follow the money to see who benefits from the corrupt practices of the military brass who fudged.”

Click here to read the entire article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

VT Digger: Stationing F-35 Warplanes in Vermont is Incompatible with Human Rights

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Friday, June 21st, 2013

Montpelier, VT

Ashley Wolf, is a member of the Vermont Workers’ Center Coordinating Committee. She lives in Burlington. In this op-ed, Wolf opines The Vermont Workers’ Center urges our congressional delegation to stand up against the stationing of the F-35 warplane at Burlington Airport and against the wasteful and dangerous military policy of the U.S. government. A great many local residents and community groups have opposed basing the F-35 in Burlington for a great many reasons. Today, the Vermont Workers’ Center is announcing its position in opposition to the warplanes for two core reasons grounded in human rights principles.

Click here to read Ms. Wolf’s complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Breaking Defense: Top Official Admits F-35 Stealth Fighter Secrets Stolen

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Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Washington DC

Journalist Sydney J Freedberg Jr. reports “Yesterday, at a subcommittee hearing attended by just half a dozen Senators, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer made a blunt admission: The military’s most expensive program, the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has been hacked and the stolen data used by America’s adversaries. Under Secretary Frank Kendall didn’t say by whom, but the answer is almost certainly China,

“So what does this mean for a future conflict? The nightmare — raised by a recent Defense Science Board report – is what you might call the Battlestar Galactica scenario: Our fighters close in on the enemy, the bad guys push a button, and all our systems shut down, crippled by cyber-attacks via “back doors” previous hacks created in the security software. In this case, thankfully, that seems unlikely. Kendall made clear that classified data has remained secure (so far, we think): It’s unclassified data in contractors’ computers that has been stolen, not the military’s secret codes.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Breaking Defense: Senator Dick Durbin wanted to hear “if any alternative (to the F-35) is being considered for a less costly fighter.”

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Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Washington, DC

Journalist Otto Kreisher reports, “In his first major initiative as chairman of the crucial subcommittee Sen. Dick Durbin noted that the F-35 “has had more than its share of problems” and served as “a text book example” of the Pentagon’s procurement woes. Durbin challenged the witnesses to tell him what they have learned from this experience and what they were doing to ensure it would not be repeated. He also wanted to hear “if any alternative is being considered for a less costly fighter.”

He received a mixed answer to the first set of questions. But on the second, there was agreement even among the program critics that it would be impractical and wasteful to start over again after investing more than 12 years and $44 billion on the Lockheed-built jet.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Burlington Real Estate Tycoon Ernie Pomerleau: Declares F-35 Will Benefit Vermont Communities

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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Burlington VT

This op-ed written by Ernie Pomerleau, president and CEO of Pomerleau Real Estate in Burlington, and a member of the Airport Strategic Planning Committee.

“I was born in Burlington and have been in real estate in the Burlington area for 40 years. I join other real estate professionals who are responsible for the majority of the real estate transactions in the region who have studied the market area and have come to some very positive conclusions.”

Read the commercial real estate tycoon’s entire op-ed here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

VTDigger: F-35 To Vastly Increase Crash Risk

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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Montpelier, VT

South Burlington Attorney, Jimmy Leas, states, “the much higher crash rate expectation for the F-35, if more clearly presented, obviously militates against a site like Burlington — with 1,400 homes in the crash zones — accepting the F-35 in the first basing round when anticipate crash risk is at its absolute highest level.”

Click her to read the article

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

BFP: More Errors Found in the Recently Revised Environmental Impact Statement (REIS)

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Burlington VT

Journalist, John Briggs, reports that the revised Environmental Impact Statement released on May 30th, 2013 contains more errors.

The Air Force said that an updated “public comment response matrix and alphabetized list of public commenters” were not included in the updated print and CD versions of the reportreleased in May. Those versions were distributed across the country to “local libraries and citizens who asked to be placed on the mailing list at public meetings.”

“The response matrix allows recipients to view public comments made during the original public comment period,” the Air Force said.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

Will This Happen to Winooski?

Citizens’ Hearing #4

Citizens’ Hearing #3

Citizens’ Hearing #2

Seven Days: F-35 Air Force Number Crunchers added as “Losers” in its weekly scoreboard for botching that,in fact, opponents of the F-35 being based in Vermont far outweigh supporters

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Burlington VT

In Seven Days popular column entitled, ‘This Week’s Scoreboard Winners and Losers” journalist Paul Heintz notes under the “Losers” column reports “Air Force number crunchers — Honest mistake or not, now’s a bad time for the the Air Force to bungle the numbers of how many people sent supportive comments about basing the F-35 in South Burlington. Credibility gap much?”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now

wptz nbc affiliate reports: check out commercial real estate tycoon Ernie Pomerleau’s latest claims on development around the Burlington International Airport

Saturday, June 15, 2013

South Burlington VT

WPTZ-TV, our local NBC affiliate, is reporting on commercial real estate tycoon Ernie Pomerleau of Pomerleau Real Estate in Burlington Vermont’s latest claims on development around the Burlington Airport.

Click here to watch journalist, Lauren Victory’s, report.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

film excerpt: Ben Cohen interviewed about the F-35 and jobs. Ben says, “Every F-35 we build is taking jobs away”

Saturday June 15th, 2013

Burlington VT

Please watch this film excerpt from an upcoming documentary of Ben Cohen, entrepreneur, activist, and co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream explaining why the F-35 is bad for the country and bad for Vermont.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

wptz nbc affiliate reports: F-35 opponents receive blank scoring sheets from the United States Air Force

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Burlington VT

WPTZ-TV, our local NBC affiliate, is reporting that opponents request for scoring sheets comparing Burlington to 205 other basing sites around the country were denied under a Frredom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Opponents subsequently received the 205 scoring sheets but upon arrival all information was whited out.

And journalist, David Charns, further reports on deepening opposition emanating from 16 local religious leaders.

See Mr. Charns’s report here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

VT Digger: F-35 Supporter, Frank Cioffi President of the GBIC, believes petitions should be included in gauging public opinion

Thursday, 13th, 2013

South Burlington, VT

VTDigger journalist, John Herrick reports:

Nicholas Germanos, a civilian project manager at Langley AFB in Virginia who worked on the environmental impact statement, said that signatures attached to petitions, pro or con, submitted during the public comment period are not used to calculate public support for the project. Mr. Germanos,  said the wording on Cioffi’s petition inaccurately assumed that the F-35 is necessary for the survival of the Air National Guard. He said petitions often make general or inaccurate statements.

“That was an incorrect assumption to be stated in the petition. There was never an Air Force statement that the F-35 was necessary to save the Guard, as the title of the petition indicated,” Germanos said.

He said some petitions were circulated throughout New England and are not representative of those who may be affected by the project.

“It really wasn’t an accurate portrayal of the public’s views on the possible beddown,” Germanos said.

Click here to read the complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

 

 

Film Excerpt: Richard Joseph reports on Impacts of Sound Levels, Health & The F-35 Warplane basing at Burlington Vermont

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Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Winooski VT

Please watch this film excerpt of Richard Joseph’s findings of the adverse health and sound level impacts of F-35 Warplanes being based in Burlington Vermont upon her citizens.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Film Excerpt: F-16 and A-10 Co-Designer, Pierre Sprey, speaks out in Burlington Vermont about the F-35 Warplane for an upcoming documentary

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Thursday, June 13th, 2013

South Burlington, VT

On his recent visit to Burlington VT, Warplane Designer , Pierre Sprey, speaks out against the F-35.

Click here to see this short excerpt of what will be a full length film soon to be released called the F-35 Movie.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

USAction Seeks to Defund The F-35

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Washington DC

It’s time to pull the pork from the Pentagon and we should start by defunding the F-35 joint strike fighter program. With a price tag of $1.5 trillion, the F-35 is the most expensive fighter jet ever built and is the single most expensive item in the 2013 Pentagon budget. But 12 years after production began, the F-35 has yet to fly a single combat mission.

Costing more than the sequester, we simply cannot afford to keep paying for weapons systems we do not need, in order to pay for the things that we do like education, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

It’s time to defund the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter now.

Click here to cast your vote.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP: 205 Scoring Sheets Stripped by the Air Force of All Information and16 Local Religious Leaders Urge Slowdown on F-35 Basing in Burlington

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Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Burlington VT

Burlington Free Press journalist, John Briggs, reports on local clergy have written to Vermont political leaders urging them to hold a “civil dialogue” with residents about basing the new F-35 warplane at the Burlington Airport.

The journalist further reports that opposition to the warplane has moved into federal court.

Read both of these articles here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

BFP Letters To The Editor: “The Six Minute” Myth by Steve Allen

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Burlington VT

The ‘six minute’ myth

One of the most troubling examples of misinformation, repeated over and over by supporters of the F-35 basing, including Gov. Shumlin, is that it’s only “six minutes a day, four days a week.” This false and misleading statement is then used to demonstrate the impact of the F-35’s as a minor inconvenience.

Here are the facts. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) states that the basing would involve up to 7,296 operations per year, over 260 flying days. The damaging noise levels would be repeated up to 28 times every day the F-35s fly; during their operational schedule between 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

The EIS does not state that operations are “only six minutes a day, four days a week.” The excessive noise will be a repeated, aggravating presence because of both the frequency of operations and the much higher noise levels. How loud are the F-35s? Over three times louder than the F-16s.

On an equivalent decibel level, the noise produced by these jets is in the range of a jackhammer and a loud rock concert — noise levels so high that both the Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration have policies that state that residential uses are “not compatible” in these zones.

An honest debate about the F-35s needs to be based on facts, not misinformation. Don’t accept the myth of “it’s just six minutes a day.”

STEVE ALLEN

Winooski

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Seven Days: Newcombe Cartoon about the F-35 Impacting Daily Life

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Seven Days: Declares F-35 Supporters as “Losers” in its Weekly Scoreboard

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Burlington VT

In Seven Days popular column entitled, “The Scoreboard: This Week’s Winners and Losers” journalist Paul Heintz notes under the “Losers” column F-35 supporters — “We punted on this one in last week’s Scoreboard, but we’re now ready to place the pro-plane folks in the loser column. No matter how they spin it, it doesn’t help their case that 20 percent more people than the Air Force previously acknowledged would land in a high-noise zone if the F-35s come to Vermont.”

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Thank you BFP!

Air Force: We overstated F-35 support for Burlington

Opponents of F-35 in Vermont outnumber supporters, Air Force says, acknowledging error in environmental report

Jun. 11, 2013 3:28 PM
The Air Force says its updated environmental report on the F-35 contained an error regarding the level of support in Vermont for the next-generation fighter jet.

The Air Force’s updated Draft Environmental Impact Study, released May 31, incorrectly reported that supporters of basing the F-35 at Burlington International Airport outnumbered opponents by a margin of 8-2.

Study case officer Nicholas Germanos at Langley Air Force base in Virginia acknowledged the mistake Tuesday to the Burlington Free Press. He said it was unclear how the error had occurred.
He said opponents of the F-35 basing at the Burlington Air Guard Station far outnumber supporters: “65 percent of the comments collected during the 2012 public-comment period are opposed to the F-35 basing decision for Burlington.”

Nationwide, Germanos said, the Air Force received 934 comments about F-35 basing after the original draft environmental report was released in March 2012. More than 97 percent, or 913 comments, concerned Burlington.

Of those 913 comments, 65 percent (about 594) opposed the basing, Germanos said Tuesday, while 35 percent (about 320) were in support.

“The document was reviewed by the Air Force prior to publication,” Germanos said of the updated study, “and the error was discovered and was supposed to be corrected, but it wasn’t.”
He said the contractor who wrote the report had agreed to make the correction, but, somehow, he said, “it was not reflected in this version. It will be corrected in the final report.”

The draft environmental impact study can be found online at www.accplanning.org and appears on the opening page of that site as “Current Initiatives.” Appendix E of Volume II of the report lays out both negative and positive comments and the Air Force response to them.

Contact John Briggs at 660-1863 or [email protected]

Breaking News!!!!!!!!!!!! BFP: Air Force: We Overstated F-35 Support For Burlington Vermont

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Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Burlington VT

News Outlets across Vermont are reporting that the United States Air Force now acknowledges that opponents to the basing of the F-35’s in Vermont out number supporters of the warplanes.

BFP journalist John Briggs reports that the Air Force’s revised and updated Environmental Impact Statement just released (May 31st, 2013) incorrectly reported that supporters for basing the F-35 Warplanes at the Burlington International Airport outnumbered opponents by a wide margin of 8-2.

Nicholas Germanos, case study officer, at Langley Air Force base in Virginia admitted today that, “opponents of the F-35 basing at the Burlington Air Guard Station far outnumber supporters: “65 percent of the comments collected during the 2012 public-comment period are opposed to the F-35 basing decision for Burlington.”

Germanos states, “(he)was unclear how the error had occurred”. Germanos goes on to say, “the document was reviewed by the Air Force prior to publication and the error was discovered and was supposed to be corrected, but it wasn’t”.

Click here to read the article

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Center for Media & Democracy: F-35: A Citizens’ Hearing Recorded in Burlington Vermont

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Burlington VT

The Center for Media & Democracy (Channel 17) recorded the recent public gathering at The Unitarian Universalist Church on May 30th, 2013 in Burlington Vermont entitled, “F-35: A Citizens’ Hearing”

Click to watch the program here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

AP: F-35 Debate Highlights Vermont’s Activist Nature

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Monday, June 10th, 2013

Burlington VT

AP journalist, Wilson Ring,  reports “Vermont’s history of civic activism and autonomy goes back decades — even centuries. Some believe it stems from a combination of its small size and its history of participatory democracy embodied in the annual Town Meeting Day, where residents are expected and encouraged to debate all aspects of local governance”

Click here to read the article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Vermont Digger: Vermont Air Guard Offers Its Side of the Story. Colonel Greco (ret.) Disputes Their Claims

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Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

“Basing the F-35 fighter jet at Burlington International Airport will enable the Vermont Air National Guard to continue to serve national and state emergency needs”, Guard officials said Thursday.

Click here to read Vermont Digger journalist, John Herrick’s, article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

WPTZ: Chris Hurd and Ernie Pomerleau speak out on opposite sides of Andrew Cockburn’s article in Harper’s Magazine

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Burlington VT

NBC Affiliate WPTZ-TV journalist, David Charns, reports on the magnitude of today’s Harper’s Magazine article by Andrew Cockburn about the basing of the F-35 Warplanes in Burlington Vermont.

Watch the video feed here

A portion of the article reads, “The Air Force and the FAA later acknowledged that the consequent noise rendered nearby areas ‘unfit for residential use,’ which led to a federally funded program for the voluntary buyout and subsequent demolition of almost 200 homes beginning in 2008. The relevant properties were then eligible to be rezoned for commercial use — a most desirable development for such paragons of the local commercial real-estate fraternity as Ernie Pomerleau, president of Pomerleau Realty and uncle to the spouse of fifty-one years of Patrick Leahy.”

“How they connected the dots of Sen. Patrick Leahy and myself doing a thing about building at the airport? I’m actively involved at the airport,” Pomerleau said.

Pomerleau sits on the Airport’s Strategic Planning Commission.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Harper’s Magazine: Flight of the Discords by Andrew Cockburn

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Washington DC

Journalist, Andrew Cockburn, reports in a national level article on the deepening opposition to the basing of F-35 Warplanes in Burlington Vermont.

Please read Mr. Cockburn’s article, Flight of the Discords here:

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Time Magazine: F-35 Price Fixing – On Final Approach to Fighter Fiscal Sanity (Part 5 of 5)

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Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Washington DC

Time Magazine is publishing a 5 part series on the F-35 this week. The journalist, Winslow Wheeler, is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC. He has authored two books: The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages National Security (US Naval Institute Press) and Military Reform: An Uneven History and an Uncertain Future (Stanford University Press).

Here is part 5 in this 5 part series.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Time Magazine: F-35 Price Fixing – Different Planes, Common Problems (Part 4 of 5)

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Thursday June 6th, 2013

Washington DC

Time Magazine is publishing a 5 part series on the F-35 this week. The journalist, Winslow Wheeler, is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC. He has authored two books: The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages National Security (US Naval Institute Press) and Military Reform: An Uneven History and an Uncertain Future (Stanford University Press).

Here is part 4 in this 5 part series.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

America’s War Games: People & Power

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Washington DC

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a textbook case of a Pentagon procurement project that reveals why it is difficult to cut the defence budget. Three versions of the F-35 are being built for the Air Force, Navy and Marines by Lockheed Martin, the largest defence contractor in the US. The F-35 is the most expensive military weapons programme in US history, bigger than the Manhattan Project that produced nuclear weapons.

The F-35 was sold as a programme that would cost $226bn for about 2,900 aircrafts. It is now seven years behind schedule, and the price has increased almost 100 percent to $400bn for only 2,400 fighters. At least another $1 trillion will be required for operations and maintenance of the F-35 over its lifetime.

Pierre Sprey, an aircraft engineer and analyst who was one of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s ‘whizz kids’ in the 1960s, believes that the project should be cancelled or “there will be so little money left over for anything that’s needed, it’ll be unbelievable. They’ll be cutting people, pilots, training, everything just to pay for this thing.”

Click here to watch this 25 minute video.

Chuck Spinney, who worked as an analyst in the US secretary of defence’s office for 26 years, believes it is difficult for the United States to reap the benefits of a peace dividend because of the workings of the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his final 1961 address.

“It’s what in Washington we call an iron triangle,” Spinney says, ” you have an alliance between the private sector, the defence contractors, the executive branch, in this case the Pentagon, and the legislative branch.”

Everyone benefits from expensive procurement projects – the Pentagon gets weapons, defence companies get to make profits, and politicians get re-elected by funding armaments that generate jobs for constituents and campaign contributions from defence companies.

The result, according to Spinney, is a defence budget “that is packed to the gills with weapons we don’t need, with weapons that are underestimated in their future costs”.

The Pentagon and defence contractors low-ball costs and exaggerate performance in the early stages of a project to “turn on the money spigot”. Then the companies engage in “political engineering,” they spread the contracts and employment for a weapon around to as many Congressional districts as possible. They do that, Spinney says, so that once cost-overruns and performance problems become apparent, “you can’t do anything about it [because] there’s too much political support”.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

WPTZ: Vermont Air National Guard Speaks Out

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Colchester VT

Yesterday, WPTZ reporter, Lauren Victory, reports that “after four days of silence, the Vermont National Guard is speaking out about the revised F-35 report released by the United States Air Force last week”.

“One of those changes is that 2,000 to 3,000 more Vermonters than originally thought would be affected by jet noise if the F-35 was based here. Opponents add that fact to their criticism of the jet. Brigadier General Richard Harris and the Guard have a different take:”

Watch the video clip here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

Hot Off The Presses: Newly Revised Environmental Impact Study (EIS)

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Burlington Vermont

Here is your copy of the USAF newly released revised Environmental Impact Study released May 31st, 2013

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

 

F-35 News From Around The World: Canada’s CBC-TV’s The Runaway Fighter

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Toronto, Canada

Investigative Journalist, Gillian Findlay, reports in this brilliant 45 minute exposè on the F-35 troubles in Canada. Notice the parallels with our struggles…

Click here to watch this investigative report.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

F-35 News From Around The World: Canada’s CBC-TV Interviews Pierre Sprey Co-Designer of The F-16 and A-10 Warplanes

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Toronto, Canada

Investigative Journalist, Gillian Findlay, interviews F-16 and A-10 Warplane Designer Pierre Sprey in this 10 minute interview.

Click here to watch the interview

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Time Magazine: F-35 Price Fixing – The Deadly Empirical Data (Part 3 of 5)

Cruisin’

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Washington DC

Time Magazine is publishing a 5 part series on the F-35 this week. The journalist, Winslow Wheeler, is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC. He has authored two books: The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages National Security (US Naval Institute Press) and Military Reform: An Uneven History and an Uncertain Future (Stanford University Press).

Here is Part 3 in the series.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Time Magazine: F-35 Price Fixing – Alphabet Soup: PAUCs, APUCs, URFs, Cost Variances and Other Pricing Dodges (part 2 of 5)

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Tuesday June 4th, 2013

Washington DC

Time Magazine is publishing a 5 part series on the F-35 this week. The journalist, Winslow Wheeler, is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC. He has authored two books: The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages National Security (US Naval Institute Press) and Military Reform: An Uneven History and an Uncertain Future (Stanford University Press).

Here is Part 2 in the series

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Time Magazine: F-35 Price Fixing – The New Era of Good F-35 Feelings (part 1 of 5)

AF-7 Flight 185

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Washington DC

Time Magazine is publishing a 5 part series on the F-35 this week. The journalist, Winslow Wheeler, is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information, a part of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington, DC. He has authored two books: The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages National Security (US Naval Institute Press) and Military Reform: An Uneven History and an Uncertain Future (Stanford University Press).

Here is Part 1 in his series

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Video: The citizens’ hearing #1

Video of Reaction to F-35 Environmental Report

FOX44 – Burlington / Plattsburgh News, Weather

Way To Go BFP: Asks Tough Questions of Vermont Delegation, Governor and Burlington’s Mayor on F-35

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Tuesday June 4th, 2013

Burlington, VT

Journalist, John Briggs reports that the Burlington Free Press has sent numerous detailed and specific questions to Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernard Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, and Burlington Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger emanating from a meeting with aviation designer Pierre Sprey, USAF Col. Rosanne Greco (ret.) and Chris Hurd and from Friday’s revised Air Force Environmental Impact Statement. The Free Press has specifically asked for individual responses from Vermont’s top political leadership rather than their unified joint comments with a June 12th deadline for responses.

We wholeheartedly applaud the journalists and leadership at the Burlington Free Press. This is a shining star example of the important role a FREE press plays in our democracy!

Click here to read the entire list of questions the Burlington Free Press sent to Vermont’s Political Elite Leadership all steadfast supporters for bringing the F-35’s to Vermont.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

F-35 News From Around The World: Italy

Fourth F-35 Lightning II arrives at Nellis Air Force Base

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Rome Italy

“With Italy mired in recession and struggling with public finances, the money saved by eliminating a single F-35 could be used to build 387 day care centres or renovate 258 schools, according to a motion signed by 158 parliamentarians in the lower house Chamber of Deputies.”

We can easily do without the F-35,” said Giulio Marcon, an SEL lawmaker. “The government should make a responsible gesture and use these resources to increase welfare spending and create jobs.”

“Italian opposition parties and some lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party called on the government on Thursday to abandon its plans to buy 90 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.”

Journalists Steve Scherer and Roberto Landucci report in this article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

BFP: Politicians continue F-35 support as Air Force ups number of residents affected by noise

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Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Burlington VT

Burlington Free Press Reports: A joint statement from the congressional delegation and the governor reiterated the group’s support for the plane: “We continue to believe basing the plane in South Burlington will be good for the future of the Vermont Air Guard and for the state’s economy,” the statement said.

These guys can’t be for real. They’re going to go down with the ship.

Come on Vermont. Just say NO!

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

Reader Supported News RSN: Air Force Admits F-35 Errors

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Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Burlington VT

he Air Force has admitted that its critics in Vermont have been right all along – that basing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Burlington, the state’s only area with population at urban-concentration levels, will render thousands more homes “unsuitable for residential use” than originally estimated.

Journalist, William Boardman, reports in this article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

Associated Press: Opponents in Vermont F-35 Debate Ready and Willing For Discussion

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Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Burlington VT

Opponents are ready to meet with Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernard Sanders, Congressman Welch, Vermont Governor Shumlin, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, Winooski Mayor Michael O’Brien (supporters all) anywhere, anytime about the basing of F-35 Warplanes at BTV.

Wilson Ring of the Associated writes in his article released a few hours ago

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence – Citizens’ Hearing Draws Hundreds

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Burlington Vermont

Several hundred citizens of Chittenden County gathered at Burlington’s Unitarian Universalist Church Thursday evening to conduct a “citizens hearing” and express their ever-increasing opposition to the coming arrival of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft. From the moment of BTV’s selection as a home base for the new aircraft, citizens from nearby Burlington; South Burlington; Winooski; and others have been passionately and diligently organizing to prevent the arrival of the world’s most expensive weapons platform at the Vermont Air Guard headquarters of Burlington International Airport.

Read the article here.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

F-35 News From Around The World: Very Very Heated Public Debate in Canada

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Ottawa Canada

Article from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

 

MAJOR BREAKING NEWS!!! BFP EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR AKI SOGA STATES F-35 DECISION MUST BE OPEN PROCESS

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Burlington Vermont

This morning the largest paper circulated in Vermont, The Burlington FREE Press and their Editorial Editor issued a major article confirming that there are serious implications concerning the F-35’s coming to Vermont and too many unanswered questions. The BFP and Mr. Soga wrote that the time is now for a CALL TO ACTION for an open and transparent disclosure(s) regarding the basing of F-35 warplanes in Vermont. We applaud the Burlington FREE Press and Mr. Soga for their/his courage to take this position and their call for openness, transparency and disclosure at this time.

We ALL need to come together and say NO to the basing of F-35’s here until we have all necessary facts and they have been properly presented via public forums/meetings with all interested parties present including our political, business, military leaders, Lockheed Martin and our citizens.

Perhaps, we should call on the Burlington Free Press to moderate such an event, call it a Citizens’Hearing #2, bringing everyone together to GET THE FACTS OUT so that we can arrive at the best decision not only for Vermont but for our country at such a fragile moment in our economic health. Tell us what you think!

Make no mistake! The door has just widened in a MAJOR way to build deeper opposition to the F-35 basing in Vermont. This call for openness and transparency is what We have been calling for ALL along.

We need you Vermont, one and all, to get engaged on this and “pitch in” to help defeat the F-35 now!! The public comment period is ticking down. We only have until July 15th, which is a legal deadline, at which time the door will permanently close for any citizens to comment in any way with regard to this issue.

WE HAVE NO TIME TO WASTE VERMONT!

WE NEED YOU NOW!

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

 

 

Burlington Free Press: Air Force Releases Revised F-35 Study For Burlington Vermont Basing

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Burlington VT

This important article appeared in today’s BFP written by John Briggs. In the article, the journalist reveals what opposition forces have been railing against all along. That these numbers were “fudged” using outdated census information, as the Boston Globe article pointed out, five weeks ago and that the actual numbers should, in fact, be much higher. Here is your proof!

Pierre Sprey who spoke at The Citizens’ Hearing last Thursday said actual noise will be much, much worse than what the Air Force is willing to admit to even in these revised Environmental Impact Statement numbers because of the necessary use of afterburners which will be mind bendingly and deafeningly loud.

If you have questions or concerns or want to get involved go to our HOW CAN I HELP? section at this top of this page!! WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU AND WE WANT YOU TO GET INVOLVED RIGHT NOW! WE NEED YOU!

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

F-35 Opponents Cite Safety, Health and Environmental Concerns

May 29th, 2013

South Burlington, VT

An article by journalist John Herrick of Vermont Digger:

In a neighborhood dubbed, “Little Detroit” by a resident who lives there Vermont residents voiced their opposition to bringing next-generation Air Force fighter jets to South Burlington amid the rain and echo of passing F-16s Wednesday.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

Vermont Digger reports: Former Fighter Jet Designer Voices Concern Over Basing F-35 in Vermont

May 31st, 2013

Burlington VT

Vermont Digger journalist, John Herrick, reports that a former designer of Air Force fighter jets added his voice to the chorus of opposition to basing a next-generation war plane at Burlington International Airport.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

North Country Public Radio: Hundreds Gather in Burlington to Protest Against Basing F-35 Warplanes

May 30th, 2013

North Country Public Radio reports that hundreds gather in Burlington to protest against basing F-35’s in Burlington Vermont.

Once in the article click on the “Listen To This Story” button.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

WPTZ Channel 5 NBC affiliate: Military Designer, Leahy Speak Out on The F-35 in Burlington VT

On May 30th, Pierre Sprey, co-designer of the F-16 and A-10 Warplanes came to Burlington Vermont to speak at The F-35: A Citizens’ Hearing at the Unitarian Universalist Church at the top of Church Street to a packed house to the rafters.

Here is new footage from Channel 5

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb Interviews The Architect of the F-16 Warplane. Calls F-35 “A Combat Turkey”

On May 30th, 2013, Mitch Wertlieb of Vermont Public Radio’s Morning Edition interviewed Pierre Sprey, co-designer of the F-16 and A-10 Warplanes to ask him his opinions based upon his expertise and experience about the F-35 which Mr. Sprey called “a combat turkey”.

Click on this link to open and then click the “listen” button.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

Pierre Sprey and USAF Col Rosanne Greco TV Interview at Center for Media and Democracy

On May 30th, 2013 F-16 co-designer Pierre Sprey visited Burlington Vermont to speak at The Citizens’ Hearing at the Unitarian Church along with USAF Col Rosanne Greco. This interview entitled, “The F-35 Jet – Dispelling the Myths with interviewer Matt Kelly.

Please watch this important video!

The F-35 Fighter Jet – Dispelling the Myths

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

Chris Hurd’s F-35 TV Interview with Richard Kemp at The Center for Media & Democracy

Filmed on May 24th, 2013 in Burlington Vermont. Mr. Hurd discusses with Mr. Kemp F-35 Warplanes and their impact on the residents, neighborhoods, communities around Burlington Vermont, our economy and “fudging”.

Check out this TV show!

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

The Jet That Ate The Pentagon – Brave New Foundations (8 minute film)

The most expensive weapons system in the history of the United States of America!

Click here to watch the film…now run and get some popcorn!

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately.

 

 

Major Turnout For “The F-35: A Citizens’ Hearing” Last Thursday Night

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Saturday, June 1st, 2013

With our political, business and military leaders having COMPLETELY IGNORED opposition force’s repeated requests for open, transparent public engagement and dialogue around the basing of F-35  warplanes capable of carrying nuclear weapons, we were forced to take matters into our own hands.

Before a packed house at the Unitarian Universalist Church atop Church Street in Burlington Vermont, citizens heard first hand accounts from a resident severely impacted by their neighborhoods being devastated and turned into what she calls “Little Detroit”. Citizens heard about the morality and serious community consequences of such recklessness from longtime Rabbi Joshua Chasan Rabbi of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington.

Please read the article that appeared the next day in the Burlington Free Press.

USAF Colonel Rosanne Greco spoke to veterans about the erosion of benefits and choices of hardware over people. She urged that we PUT PEOPLE  FIRST. PEOPLE BEFORE PLANES.

The keynote speaker, Pierre Sprey, is a co-designer of the F-16 warplane that is currently flying at the Burlington Airport. In addition, he co-designed the A-10 Warthog as well. Both of these planes are currently in the USAF arsenals. The F-16 widely regarded as a superior design, a pilot’s plane.

If you have questions or concerns or want to get involved go to our HOW CAN I HELP? section at this top of this page!! WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU AND WE WANT YOU TO GET INVOLVED RIGHT NOW! WE NEED YOU!

 

The revised EIS is out!

Click here for link to the revised Environmental Impact Statement

Near & Far: Chris Hurd – F-35 Opponent

As jets seem bound for Vt., questions of political influence arise

By Bryan Bender
Boston Globe

[…]

A Globe examination of records, and interviews with Pentagon officials directly involved with the review, show the Air Force — in selecting Vermont over competing locations — relied on inaccurate, excessively low estimates of the impact of the jet blast on the local population.

One of the Pentagon officials said in an interview that the lengthy base-selection process was deliberately “fudged’’ by military brass so that Leahy’s home state would win.

“Unfortunately Burlington was selected even before the scoring process began,” said the official, who asked that he not to be identified for fear of reprisals from his superiors. “I wish it wasn’t true, but unfortunately that is the way it is. The numbers were fudged for Burlington to come out on top. If the scoring had been done correctly Burlington would not have been rated higher.”

Leahy, in an e-mailed statement, reiterated his support for the planes but did not respond to allegations of political influence. The Air Force denied the fix was in for Vermont, even though it now says it is reassessing residential impacts and other factors using updated information — a review that could end in a reversal of its preliminary decision.

Pentagon officials said the first set of sound projections, provided by Burlington International Airport and Vermont National Guard in 2008 to the Federal Aviation Administration, caused the Air Force to underestimate the number of homes that would be affected by replacing the Vermont Guard’s current squadron of F-16s with up to 24 of the more sophisticated, but louder, F-35s.

[…]

In general, the FAA recommends that local authorities not permit the construction of residential homes in the areas affected by high noise levels, but the decisions on how to mitigate problems are left to communities. Homeowners are unlikely to be forced to move, but the FAA’s designation of a sound zone that is “incompatible with residential use’’ makes it exceedingly difficult to sell homes.

“I realize the military needs to advance,” Tucker said, “but there is a community here that needs to be addressed.”

Leahy’s senate colleague Sanders, too, says he wants more information about how the selection of Burlington was made.

“I take seriously allegations that the scoring process may have been flawed,” he told the Globe in a statement Friday, adding that the Air Force should release all of its documentation. “I do believe the process must be transparent and fair.”

SOURCE

Fail! The $400 Billion Military Jet That Can’t Fly in Cloudy Weather

By William Boardman
AlterNet

The F-35 joint strike fighter is an unbelievable failure, and the perfect illustration of everything that’s wrong with our military industrial complex.

According to one of its supporters, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is not “what our troops need,” is “too costly” and “poorly managed,” and its “present difficulties are too numerous to detail.”

The F-35 is a case study of government failure at all levels – civilian and military, federal, state, local, even airport authority. Not one critical government agency is meeting its obligation to protect the people it presumably represents. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who wrote the F-35 critique above, is hardly unique as an illustration of how government fails, but he sees no alternative to failure.

Up for re-election in 2014 and long a supporter of basing the F-35 in Vermont, Leahy put those thoughts in a letter to a constituent made public March 13. This is Leahy’s most recent public communication since December 2012, when he refused to meet with opponents of the F-35 and his web site listed a page of “public discussion” events mostly from the spring, including private briefings with public officials, without responding to any substantive issues.

The F-35 is a nuclear-capable weapon of mass destruction that was supposed to be the “fighter of the future” when it was undertaken in 2001. Now, more than a decade overdue and more than 100% over budget, the plane is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over its useful life, of which about $400 billion has already been spent.

[…]

SOURCE

Cut Social Security and Veterans’ Benefits? Cut the Pentagon Instead

By Robert Naiman
Truthout

[…]

Consider the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Last year, Winslow Wheeler reported that theacquisition cost for the F-35 had risen to $379.4 billion for 2,457 aircraft. That’s just the cost to buy the planes, not to fly and maintain them. According to Wheeler, “The current appraisal for operations and support is $1.1 trillion – making for a grand total of $1.5 trillion, or more than the annual GDP of Spain.”

Assuming that everything is proportional (and that these costs don’t further escalate, which Wheeler assures us they will), if the F-35 costs $1.5 trillion for 2,457 planes, that’s $610 million per plane. How many F-35s would we have to not buy in order to spare seniors, veterans and the disabled from getting whacked? We would only have to not buy $163 billion worth, or 267 planes. That would still leave 2,190 planes. We could reduce the number of F-35s we purchase by just over 10 percent – cut one single weapons system by 10 percent – and save as much money as President Obama proposes to save by whacking seniors, veterans and the disabled.

Lastly, consider Pentagon contracting: the Project On Government Oversight notes that “every year for the last five years the Pentagon has spent more than $360 billion purchasing goods and services from contractors” and that “service contractors can cost, on average, 2.94 times more than an average Pentagon civilian employee performing the same job.”

Suppose it were true that it costs 2.9 times as much to do things through contractors as it does to use Pentagon employees. That’s a different statistic – I’m substituting an apple for an orange. We don’t actually have the numbers that we need to do the right calculation, because as POGO notes, the public doesn’t have access to contractor workforce size and cost data. But what we’re after here is just a rough sense of what Pentagon spending choices and cuts to Social Security and veterans’ benefits look like when you put them on the same scale. The actual policy choice we need to make to protect Social Security and veterans’ benefits and cut the Pentagon budget is merely to kill the grand bargain and let the sequester-level budget caps on discretionary spending stand.

[…]

SOURCE

Vermont’s F-35 Foes Have Found a Sympathetic Poster Child in “Gramma”

By Kevin J. Kelley
Seven Days

Activists opposed to basing F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport have found a potentially effective spokesperson for their cause. She’s Carmine Sargent, a 69-year-old grandmother who has been living within earshot of the airport since 1972.

Sargent — or “Gramma,” as she’s billed by the F-35’s adversaries — made her debut at a press conference and protest staged last month in front of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s Main Street office in Burlington. After speaking at the event, Sargent hand-delivered a box of fudge to Leahy’s fourth-floor suite. She told staffers the gift symbolized the “fudged” process, as a recent Boston Globe article described it, that led the Air Force to pick BTV as one of two preferred basing sites for up to two dozen F-35s. The Globe alleged the Air Force chose Burlington to please Leahy, one of the Senate’s most powerful members.

[…]

“I felt like I was being an observer of my own life,” she muses. “I was complaining about [the F-35], but I wasn’t doing anything about it.”

She also came to understand that protesting the plane wasn’t about being “anti-military or anti-development, but pro-community.”

It was the Federal Aviation Administration’s house demolition program that helped tip her into activism, Sargent relates. The feds have purchased and destroyed more than 50 homes in the high-noise zone over the past few years and another 150 moderately priced homes are eligible for the buyout and teardown.

“We would all of a sudden see a house being razed, and nobody would talk to us about what was happening,” Sargent recalls. She coined the term “Little Detroit” for South Burlington’s dead zone of bulldozed and vacated homes.

Sargent’s own ranch house lies just outside the high-noise zone’s borders. But if the F-35 does bed down about a quarter of a mile away, her home — and those of most of her neighbors — would be exposed to decibel levels that federal officials deem harmful to human health.

SOURCE

Public Hearing on VTANG F-35 Fighter Jets

The South Burlington City Council is made up of 5 citizens who live in the City of South Burlington, elected at-large by the voters of the City. These five councilors sit with 2-3 year terms expiring in an annual rotation. The City Council meets regularly on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month to conduct business of the City and carry out the provisions of the City Charter. Special or emergency meetings can be called in the event that an urgent need arises for City Council authorization. City Council meetings are held at City Hall in the conference room and begin at 7pm.

Part of this meeting was a special discussion of the VT Air national Guards proposal to bring F-35 planes to their South Burlington facility.

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