F-35 Fighter Jets Prepped to Target Civilians

September 7th, 2023 - by James Marc Leas / Cancel the F-35

Targeting Civilians Is a Deliberate, Knowing, and
Intentional Part of F-35 Training in Vermont
James Marc Leas / Cancel the F-35

(September 5, 2023) — Vermont political and military leaders viciously abuse Vermonters living in the 115-decibel oval-shaped noise zone of the F-35. They daily assault the 6,663 Vermonters who live in that 5-mile-long by 1-mile-wide oval-shaped danger zone centered on the runway in South Burlington — 1,300 children among them

The basing decision for the F-35 was studied and planned for years. The exact number of homes, 2,963, and the exact number of people, 6,663, and the exact number of acres in the oval-shaped noise danger zone, 2,252, to be blasted with the 115-decibel F-35 hundreds of times a month was all revealed in an Air Force study in 2013, long before the F-35 first arrived in 2019, four years ago. The disproportionate impact on low income and ethnic minority populations was also revealed in that Air Force study. As was the expectation of injury from repeated exposure to military aircraft noise at that level. It was all revealed by the Air Force.

The basing followed the 2018 Town Meeting in Burlington in which a resolution to cancel the planned F-35 basing at Burlington International Airport was approved by 55.3% of the voters. But the will of the people was ignored.

The daily targeting of Vermonters with the F-35 is deliberate, knowing, and intentional.

One of the things that makes it possible for the governor to continue this abuse is that it does not affect even more Vermonters. It’s just one percent of the state’s population severely affected. For those living a few miles outside that oval-shaped area, the F-35 is loud; it interrupts conversation; it is annoying.

But it’s nothing like the pain and injury experienced by the 6,663 people living in the oval-shaped area. Especially for adults working or children playing outdoors: the result is  severe painhearing damageheart disease, stroke, and dementia. The Air Force itself cited studies showing that repeated exposure to military jet noise at the level of the F-35 damages hearing and impairs the cognitive development of children. Recent studies show that hearing loss contributes to dementia in adults. F-35 training in a city is government-sponsored abuse of children and adults on a mass scale.

The flagrant abuse of Vermonters is conducted in blatant disregard of the military’s own discipline that protects civilians. Military discipline forbids deliberately targeting any civilians and requires locating military forces and dangerous military equipment away from populated areas. The training with the F-35 in a city is illegal, immoral, and unjust.

The conduct of the training of Vermont National Guard airmen is under the control of the Governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, who has the power to put a stop to it now and protect Vermonters. But he won’t. The discipline for the national guard of every state is under the control of the federal government. All that is in the US constitution.

The fact that this abuse of thousands of Vermonters in the oval-shaped F-35 noise-zone has been ongoing for 4 years demonstrates that both Vermont and US political leaders and military commanders respect no DoD Directive, federal law, Vermont law, or international law that requires protection of civilians from military operations.

Nearly 3 years ago 657 Vermonters submitted a 62-page complaint to the Inspector General of the Vermont National Guard describing the injuries that they experienced — it quoted the words of those hit by the noise—and it quoted the military’s own discipline and federal, state, and international laws. The inspector general never responded despite repeated inquiries. Those responsible for the abuse, including the governor and commanders, continue to use the F-35 to hurt civilians with impunity.

The abuse of Vermonters by Vermont’s own political and military leaders must stop now. The F-35 must be grounded. It must be removed from the airport in the City of S. Burlington now. It must be kept out of all populated areas. Those responsible must be prosecuted and incarcerated.

ACTION: Write or Call your Public Servants: 
Demand an immediate halt to F-35 training
•  Governor Phil Scott 802-828-3333
•  Chief of Staff <Jason.Gibbs@vermont.gov>
•  Submit your report & complaint to the online F-35 Report & Complaint Form: https://tinyurl.com/5d89ckj9

See all the graphs and in-your-own words statements on the F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form (513 responses): https://tinyurl.com/3svacfvx.

See links to the graphs and in-your-own words statements on all four versions of the F-35 Report & Complaint Form since Spring 2020, with a total of 1670 responses from 658 different people plus 77 more so far on the form that remains active now.

Senator Bernie Sanders 800-339-9834 <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>

Senator Peter Welch 888-605-7270 Chief of Staff <patrick.satalin@mail.house.gov>

Rep. Becca Balint <RepBeccaBalint@mail.house.gov>

Burlington City Council <citycouncil@burlingtonvt.gov>

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger <mayor@burlingtonvt.gov>

Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott <klott@winooskivt.org>

Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle <hriehle@sburl.com>

Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig <macaig@msn.com>

VT Senate President Philip Baruth <Philip.Baruth@uvm.edu>

VT House Speaker Jill Krowinski <jkrowinski@leg.state.vt.us>

Attorney General Charity Clark <Charity.Clark@vermont.gov>

States Attorney Sarah George <Sarah.fair.george@gmail.com>

Vermont’s Federal Prosecutor <usavt.contactus1@usdoj.gov>

Adjutant General Brig Gen Gregory C Knight <gregory.c.knight.mil@mail.mil>

Major J Scott Detweiler <john.s.detweiler.mil@mail.mil>

Wing Commander Col Dan Finnegan <daniel.finnegan@mail.mil>

Vermont National Guard Inspector General Lt. Col. Edward J Soychak <edward.soychak@us.af.mil>

US Air Force Inspector General Lt. Col. Pamela D. Koppelmann <pamela.d.koppelmann.mil@mail.mil>

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall <Frank.Kendall@us.af.mil>