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What and Who to Believe ?

Video

  • 9 Minute Introductory Video “People Before Planes”
  • The 3 minute Air Force video: “Future Weapons: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter”  includes admission that the F-35 has nothing to do with defending Vermont. The statements in the video that the F-35 is “a hell of a first strike weapon” with stealth features “built to penetrate enemy airspace” with a “vast weapons payload” for “wreaking havoc deep behind enemy lines” and “we’d like for them to be hair, teeth, and eye balls and not even know we were there,” are admissions that the F-35 is actually for attacking, bombing, and killing in other countries.

Download Fact Sheet on F-35 Basing

Maps

Jobs and the Environment

Community Voices

The Air Force agreed to spare Valparaiso. Why not the same for Winooski? Why not the same for Tafts Corners?

Official Documents

  • Air Force “F-35 Record of Decision.”
  • Air Force “Final Environmental Impact Statement.”
  • FAA PART 150—AIRPORT NOISE COMPATIBILITY PLANNING, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.
  • FAA “Airports Desk Reference, Chapter 17. Noise.”
  • F-35A Operational Basing Environmental Impact Statement Mitigation and Management Plan,” 158th Fighter Wing, Burlington Air Guard Station, April 18, 2014.
  • Burlington International Airport, 14 CFR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Program
  • Update,” HMMH Report No. 301321.006, April 2008, Prepared for: City of Burlington, Vermont.
  • Burlington International Airport, Part 150 Record of Approval,” by Richard Doucette, Environmental Protection Specialist, June 19, 2008.
  • Quality Assurance Assessment of the F-35 Lightning II Program,” Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense, Setember 30, 2013
  • Review of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents, 2007–2009,” National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20594.
  • Score sheet with Bernie cover letter 6-29-12,”
  • “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program,” by Jeremiah Gentler, Congressional Research Service, 7-5700, www.crs.gov, RL30563, April 29, 2014, among much useful information, “28.9 million software lines of code.” (page 14).
    • “The (2013 selected acquisition) report said the program’s anticipated cost, which encompasses the production of 2,443 jets, rose 1.9% from last year’s estimate to $398.6 billion, despite years of efforts to trim the price tag.”82  (page 16).
    • Since  2011, Selected Acquisition Report projected lifetime operating and sustainment costs for the F-35 fleet have been estimated at slightly over $1 trillion, “which DOD officials have deemed unaffordable. The program’s long term sustainment estimates reflect assumptions about key cost drivers that the program does not control, including fuel costs, labor costs, and inflation rates.”  “The eye-popping estimate has raised hackles at the Defense Department and on Capitol Hill since it was disclosed in 2011. It covers the cost of fuel, spare parts, logistics support and repairs.” (page 19)
    • Thus, the total cost for the F-35 program is $1.4 Trillion.
    •  Putting the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into production before flight testing had started was “acquisition malpractice,” acting Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall told an industry group this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The program, Kendall said, had started with “the optimistic prediction that we were good enough at modeling and simulation that we would not find problems in flight test.”
    • That was wrong, and now we are paying for that,” Kendall added. (page 30).
    • DOD states that the F-35 program “was structured from the beginning to be a model of acquisition reform, with an emphasis on jointness, technology maturation and concept demonstrations, and early cost and performance trades integral to the weapon system requirements definition process.” A subsequent RAND Corporation study found that the fundamental concept behind the F-35 program—that of making one basic airframe serve multiple services’ requirements—may have been flawed (page 34).
  • The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal organization responsible for air safety, issued a report indicating that commercial air carriers experienced far fewer accidents than the F-16: only 0.2 total accidents per hundred thousand flight hours in the period from 2004 to 2009 (see FIG. 3 on page 8 of the report “Review of U.S. Civil Aviation Accidents, 2007–2009.” This 0.2 figure, for “overall” accident rate, includes all four categories of accidents, damage, injury, serious, and major. The report shows that only about one tenth of the commercial air carrier accidents are in the “major” category (see Table 3 on the same page). Thus, the major accident crash rate for commercial aircraft is only about 0.02. This means that the class A accident rate for the current F-16 fighter – 3.68 — is about 180 times higher than the major accident crash rate for commercial aircraft. When it arrives in Burlington in 2020 the F-35 is likely not to have sufficient fleet flight hours to accurately determine its class A accident rate but it likely to be even higher than that of the much more mature F-16.

National and international F-35 news

Corrupt Practices to even get Burlington on the list for F-35 basing

  • As jets seem bound for Vt., questions of political influence arise,” by Brian Bender, Boston Globe, April 13, 2013
    •  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.
  • Greco: F-35A basing flaws include scores, process and arguments,” by Rosanne Greco, VTDigger.org, July 11, 2012
  • Demonstration at Senator Patrick Leahy’s office as the Senator continues to  refuse to meet with constituents opposed to F-35 basing Burlington,VT  December 12, 2012, Youtube Video by Michele Palardy.

News items and opinion pieces

Burlington Resolution

  • Putting Planes Before People: How Democracy Lost to the F-35 
  • The Resolution
  • Background Memo for the Resolution
  • Sign the Move-On petition
  • The F-35 Ruins Lives Burlington Must Act Now – In the coming weeks, residents, experts, and public officials will present the Burlington City Council with factual evidence and background on these and other issues to demonstrate the urgent need for Burlington as landlord to the Air Guard to reject the proposed F-35  basing.  The clock is ticking toward a horrendous basing decision by the Air Force. The time to act is now. Make your voice count.
  • 10 reasons Burlington must oppose the F-35 basing

 

    • The F-35 Will Damage Family Health: 1500 kids at risk for cognitive and health impairment
    • F-35 Basing is Unjust: the homes of 8,600 working class and moderate income people will be “not suitable for residential use”
    • The F-35 Warplane Will Not Defend Us: Makes the world more violent and dangerous
    • The F-35 Basing is a Racial Injustice: New Americans and people of color disproportionately harmed
    • Priorities? F-35 current projected cost:  $1.5 trillion. U.S. student debt: $1 trillion
    • Not the Choice for Jobs:  $1.5 trillion in tax dollars spent on clean energy, health care, and education would create 9 to 12 million more jobs
    • Liability and Loss of Home Value (average of $33,000r reduction) :  Hardship for homeowners, and City of Burlington potentially liable for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars
    • Noise Mitigation is a Lie: “Land acquisition and relocation is the only alternative that would eliminate the residential incompatibility” –Federal Aviation Administration)
    • Climate Change: F-35 protects the status quo: We need sustainable development policies not a bigger military economy
    • Crash Risk: The F-35 is 236 times more likely to crash than the F-16: the F-16 is 180 times more likely to crash than commercial jets. 1400 families live in the designated crash zones in Winooski, Colchester, and Williston
  • Download Complete Flyer: F-35 Ruins Lives – City of Burlington Leaflet – 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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