YCQM May 20, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> FROM WCAX, THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME".
>> DARREN: GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," OPPONENTS OF THE F 35 JET CALL FOR AN INVESTIGATION ON THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD.
THEY'RE ALLEGING UNETHICAL AND POSSIBLE ILLEGAL CONDUCT THAT RESULTED IN VERMONT LANDING THE CONTROVERSIAL PLANE.
A ONE ON ONE INTERVIEW WITH THE WOMAN MAKING THE ALLEGATIONS.
>> PLUS, WE'RE GOING TO GET THE GUARD'S RESPONSE.
MAJOR JAMES LEWANDOWSKI IS HERE, HE WILL DISCUSS THE GUARD'S CHARLIE COMPANY, WHICH WILL ACT AS A MEDICAL EVACUATION UNIT AND THAT IS WHERE WE BEGIN THIS MORNING.
THE SOLDIERS WILL LIKELY BE LANDING IN COMBAT ZONES AND THE GUARD SAYS THEY'RE READY.
>> THE COUNTRY HAS MADE THE CALL TO US ONCE AGAIN.
>> AND THAT CALL MEANS 60 NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS WILL DEPLOY TO THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTHWEST ASIA NEXT MONTH.
GUARD OFFICIALS COULDN'T GIVE SPECIFIC LOCATIONS, BUT WE DO KNOW THEY WILL BE IN HARM'S WAY.
>> WE HOPE FOR THE BEST, PREPARE FOR THE WORSE.
>> REPORTER: THE MISSION, TO PROVIDE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE AND EVACUATIONS.
THE SOLDIERS GOT ADVANCE MEDICAL TRAINING AND THEY'RE EXPERTS ON SAVING PEOPLE ON THE BATTLEFIELD.
THEY WILL BE FLYING THE SIX BLACK HAWK HELICOPTERS, THE AIRCRAFT OUTFITTED WITH EXTRA ARMOR AND THEY WILL GET EXTRA PROTECTION IN THE SKY.
>> WE ALWAYS FLY WITH AN ARMED ESCORT, SO SOMEONE HAS OUR BACK WHILE WE'RE RESCUING PATIENTS.
>> REPORTER: THEY DONE IT BEFORE.
THE AIR AMBULANCE UNIT DEPLOYED TO OTHER WAR ZONES AND NATURAL DISASTERS, INCLUDING BOSNIA, IRAQ, AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.
>> WE'RE READY.
>> REPORTER: THE GUARD SAYS FOUR CHOPPERS THAT AREN'T BLACKHAWKS WILL REMAIN IN VERMONT AND NEIGHBORING STATES WILL HELP WITH EMERGENCIES HERE IF NEED BE.
>> ENSURING THAT THEY ARE THERE TO SUPPORT VERMONT IN CASE OF ANOTHER NATURAL DISASTER, SUCH AS IRENE.
>> REPORTER: OTHER MEDICAL FACILITIES, THEY WILL BE LEAVING THEIR JOBS FOR ABOUT A YEAR.
>> YOU KNOW, WE PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING, WE TRAIN FOR EVERYTHING, AND WE'RE GOING TO DO THE BEST WE CAN TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE COMES HOME SAFE.
>> DARREN: AND MAJOR STEVEN CRAY AND JAMES LEWANDOWSKI JOIN ME TODAY.
HAS A DATE BEEN SET YET FOR THIS DEPLOYMENT?
>> WE HAVE A SEND OFF FOR THE AVIATORS AND THEIR FAMILIES ON JUNE 14TH IN THE MORNING.
THE HELICOPTERS WILL BE FLYING OUT TO FORT HOOD BEFORE THEY DEPLOY TO DO SOME TRAINING.
THAT WILL BE THE START OF THE DEPLOYMENT.
>> DARREN: WHAT SPECIFICALLY WILL THEY BE DOING ONCE THEY ARRIVE THERE AND CAN YOU GIVE A SPECIFIC LOCATION AS TO WHERE THEY WILL BE STATIONED?
>> SO ONCE WE LEAVE VERMONT AND GO TO FORT HOOD, WE WILL BE JOINING FOUR OTHER STATES WE'VE BEEN WORKING WITH CLOSELY THE PAST YEAR.
THEY WERE IN THE STATE LAST SUMMER HELPING TRAIN AND GETTING USE TO THE MED EVAC MISSION.
WE SPENT THE LAST YEAR DEVELOPING OUR TECHNIQUES AND OPERATING PROCEDURES, BUILDING ON PAST EXPERIENCES, AND MAKING SURE WE'RE AS EFFICIENT AS POSSIBLE TO DO THE MED EVAC.
RESCUING PATIENTS AND BRINGING THEM BACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
>> DARREN: CAN YOU GIVE SPECIFICS OR WILL THEY BE IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTHWEST ASIA.
>> IT'S HARD TO SAY, RIGHT NOW WE'RE GOING TO BE DEPLOYED IN THE MIDDLE EAST FOR THE MULTIPLE SITES AND WE'RE GOING TO COVER A LARGE AREA OF OPERATIONS.
THAT IS SOMETHING WE PREPARE AND TRAIN FOR IN THE DRILL.
>> DARREN: YOU MENTIONED THE ADVANCE MEDICAL TRAINING, WHAT'S INVOLVED THERE?
>> THE NATIONAL GUARD SET A PRECEDENT QUITE A FEW YEARS BACK BECAUSE OF THEIR CIVILIAN EXPERIENCES WORKING IN WANT WHOS AND E.M.S. TEAMS.
MANY OF OUR PARAMEDICS WERE PARAMEDICS BEFORE THE ARMY MADE IT A REQUIREMENT.
NOW, OUR PARAMEDICS HAVE BEEN DEVELOPING THEIR SKILLS, GOING BACK TO SCHOOL, AND MOST OF OUR SOLDIERS ARE R.N.S.
>> DARREN: YOU BEEN THERE BEFORE, YOU WERE IN IRAQ.
WHAT DO THESE MEDICAL EVACUATIONS LOOK LIKE?
CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH WHAT HAPPENS?
>> ABSOLUTELY, WE'RE MAINLY ON STAND BY FOR MOST MISSIONS.
WE'RE PREPPING OUR QUILL EQUIPMENT, PREPPING OUR SOLDIERS, MAKING SURE WE'RE READY FOR ANYTHING THAT COMES UP.
WE HAVE TO GET THE CALL, GET TO THE AIRCRAFT AND LAUNCH, AND BE IN THE AIR AND READY TO GO WITHIN 15 MINUTES, FLYING AS FAST AS WE CAN TO THE SITE.
THEN WE GIVE THE BEST IN ROUTE CARE, GET THE SOLDIER ON THE AIRCRAFT, ASSESS THEM, AND WORK WITH THE PILOTS TO MAKE SURE THEY GET TO THE RIGHT HOSPITAL, WITH THE RIGHT TREATMENT, AND MAKING SURE THIS PATIENT GETS THE BEST SURVIVABILITY AS POSSIBLE.
THE VERMONT GUARD, I BELIEVE IS HIGHER THAN THAT.
WE DONE THIS FOR THE PAST DECADE.
WE'RE CLOSER TO A 99%.
>> DARREN: MAJOR, YOU MENTIONED YOU WILL BE FLYING WITH ARMED ESCORTS WHEN YOU GO IN FOR THESE EVACUATIONS.
ARE THE MEDICAL UNITS ALSO ARMED?
>> WE DO HAVE OUR PERSONAL WEAPONS, BUT WE DO NOT GO INTO BATTLE WITH, YOU KNOW, OUR WEAPONS.
WE WILL, IF THERE IS AN ISSUE WHERE WE NEED TO GET OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT, WE WILL BRING OUR PERSONAL WEAPON WITH US, BUT WE WON'T FIRE ROUNDS OFF OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
>> DARREN: AS I MENTIONED, YOU WERE IN IRAQ, HOW WILL THIS MISSION COMPARE TO THAT ONE, OR BOSNIA, OR EVEN THE HURRICANE RELIEF THAT YOU FOLKS RECENTLY DID?
>> ABSOLUTELY.
WE'RE ALWAYS THERE TO SAVE THE PATIENTS.
TREATING PATIENTS WITH INJURIES, IS ALMOST ALWAYS THE SAME.
THE ENVIRONMENT WHICH WE PICK THEM UP IS SOMETIMES DIFFERENT.
HURRICANE IRENE, THAT'S SIMILAR TO WHAT WE DID IN IRAQ, A LOT OF DEVASTATION WITH THE LOCAL POPULATION.
WE'RE ALWAYS CONSTANTLY TRAINING, YOU KNOW, THE POSSIBILITY OF MORE COMBAT RELATED ACCIDENTS WHEN WE GO OVERSEAS, COMPARED TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.
WE'RE PREPARED FOR BOTH, WE'VE BEEN TRAINING FOR BOTH IN THE LAST YEAR, AND IT'S GIVEN THAT RECENCY OF EXPOSURE TO SOME OF THOSE INJURIES, SO THAT'S ALLOWING US TO BE BETTER PREPARED FOR THIS COMBAT TOUR.
>> DARREN: GENERAL, THIS IS ABOUT A YEARLONG DEPLOYMENT.
A LOT OF THESE FOLKS HAVE JOBS.
HOW DOES THAT WORK?
>> WELL, A LOT OF CONSTANT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE FAMILIES, THE SERVICE MEMBERS, AND THEIR EMPLOYERS, YOU KNOW.
THERE ARE THREE ENTITIES IN PLAY HERE.
WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME WORKING WITH FAMILIES, TO MAKE SURE THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT THE MISSION IS.
THIS GROUP IS A PRETTY TIGHT GROUP.
THE FAMILY IS A TIGHT GROUP.
THEY HAVE A REALLY SOLID FAMILY READINESS GROUP THAT WILL BE THERE, BACK HERE WAITING AND HELPING OTHERS THAT HAVE SERVICE MEMBERS DEPLOYED.
AS WELL WITH WORKING WITH THOSE EFFECTED, AND WE HAVE A FEW EMPLOYERS THAT WILL BE FEELING IT, YOU KNOW.
WE HAVE THESE SERVICE MEMBERS, THESE SOLDIERS THAT ARE DEPLOYED FOR A YEAR.
WE HAVE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM AND SET EXPECTATIONS ON WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE.
>> DARREN: SO FAMILY READINESS STILL AVAILABLE TO SPOUSES, AND KIDS, AND THAT KIND OF THING.
>> ABSOLUTELY, YEAH.
THERE IS A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS, MOSTLY SPOUSES AND OTHERS THAT GET TOGETHER.
YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE ALL THE RECALL ROSTERS, AND IF YOU HEARD SOMETHING, THEY'RE ALWAYS TALKING, THEY'RE GETTING TOGETHER WITH THEIR KIDS, AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS.
THIS IS ONE OF THE STRONGEST FAMILY READINESS GROUPS WE HAVE IN THE NATIONAL GUARD.
>> DARREN: THERE WILL BE CONTACT BETWEEN OUR DEPLOYED SOLDIERS AND FAMILY BACK HOME?
>> I THINK SO.
>> THERE WILL BE SOME CONTACT.
THE SITUATION HAS GOTTEN STRONGER, HOWEVER, IT WON'T BE CONSTANT LIKE IT IS NOW.
WE CAN'T TEXT CONSTANTLY, WE CAN'T UPDATE ON FACEBOOK, AND THOSE KINDS OF COMMUNICATIONS WILL BE RESTRICTED.
WE WILL STILL BE ABLE TO CONTACT AND CALL OUR FAMILY, AND GET SOME SKYPE AND FACETIME IN.
>> DARREN: IN YEAR'S PAST, THERE HAS BEEN AN ABILITY FOR THESE SOLDIERS TO GET HOME FOR A LITTLE WHILE, I THINK IT WAS A 2 WEEK BREAK FROM A YEARLONG DEPLOYMENT.
IS THAT GOING TO HAPPEN?
>> ABSOLUTELY, THAT HAPPENED THE LAST DEPLOYMENT, BUT WE'RE TOLD THAT IT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE TO GET PEOPLE HOME FOR 2 WEEKS.
>> DARREN: THE GUARD HAS TOLD US THAT EATER EITHER NEXT YEAR OR THE YEAR AFTER, WE'RE LOOKING AT A BIG ONE, UPWARDS OF THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS DEPLOYED.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT AND JUST TO BE CLEAR, THIS IS NOT THAT DEPLOYMENT.
>> RIGHT, THIS IS NOT THAT DEPLOYMENT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
A DEPLOYMENT OF THE 86TH BRIGADE COULD HAPPEN IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS.
THE NATIONAL GUARD IS BEING PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE DEPLOYMENTS, JUST AS THE AVIATION UNIT IS DOING NOW.
THE BRIGADE IS IN A CYCLE, BUILDING UP TO AN AVAILABLE YEAR, WHERE IF THE ARMY, THE UNITED STATES ARMY NEEDS THAT CAPABILITY, THE 86, AND THERE IS A STRONG POSSIBILITY OF THAT IT COULD HAPPEN.
AS EARLY AS LATE IN 2019, OR EARLY 2020.
>> DARREN: AND DO WE KNOW WHERE OUR MEN AND WOMEN WOULD BE HEADING?
>> WE DON'T.
RIGHT NOW, THEY'RE TRAINING FOR ALL POSSIBILITIES, FOR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD THAT THEY MAY BE NEEDED.
THEY HAVE A LARGE SCALE EXERCISE THIS SUMMER, THERE WILL BE ANOTHER ONE NEXT SUMMER, IN THE SUMMER OF 2019 AND SOME TIME AFTER THAT, THEY WILL BE READY TO DO WHATEVER THE NATION NEEDS THEM TO DO.
>> DARREN: GETTING BACK TO THE UPCOMING DEPLOYMENT, MAJOR, WHAT IS THE MESSAGE YOU LIKE TO SEND TO VERMONT, AS YOU'LL BE THERE AND HEADING THIS THING UP.
WHAT SHOULD VERMONTERS NO ABOUT KNOW ABOUT THIS MISSION?
>> THE SUPPORT THEY GIVEN US HAS ALLOWED US TO PREPARE BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE.
VERMONTERS HAVE ALWAYS STOOD UP AND ANSWERED THE CALL WHEN NEEDED AND EVERY VERMONTER BACK AT HOME SHOULD BE PROUD OF THE SUPPORT THEY GIVEN TO THESE SOLDIERS, MAKING SURE THEY'RE READY TO GO.
>> DARREN: MAJOR, THANK YOU.
WE'RE GOING TO WISH YOU LOTS OF LUCK AND SPEEDY RETURN HOME.
GENERAL, STICK AROUND, I HAVE A FEW MORE THINGS TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT.
IT'S A FIGHT OVER FIGHTER JETS, ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD, AND SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY AND THE GREEN MOUNTAINS.
DON'T GO AWAY.
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>> DARREN: A GROUP OPPOSING THE F 35 FIGHTER JET AND ITS BASING IN VERMONT SAYS IT HAS DOCUMENTS THAT SHOW THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD ITS LEADER AND SENATOR LEAHY USED HIS SENIOR POSITION IN WASHINGTON TO GET THE F 35 BASED IN VERMONT.
THE GROUP IS NOW CALLING ON FEDERAL WATCHDOGS, THE INSPECTOR GENERALS OF THE AIR FORCE, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, AIR NATIONAL GUARD, THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE AIR FORCE, AND THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE TO INVESTIGATE.
I SAT DOWN WITH ROSEANNE GRECO, A RETIRED COLONEL FROM THE AIR FORCE, TO ASK WHY SHE OPPOSES THE PLANE AND WHAT SHE UNCOVERED IN MILITARY DOCUMENTS AND E MAILS.
>> REPORTER: WHAT ARE YOU ALLEGING HAPPENED THAT IS UNETHICAL AND PERHAPS ILLEGAL.
>> YES, READING THE DOCUMENTS WE SAW THAT THERE WERE MANY, MANY REFERENCES TO THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD, MOSTLY THE SENIOR OFFICERS, TRYING TO CHANGE DATA, MANIPULATE DATA, TO SHOW A BETTER PICTURE FOR BURLINGTON, THE FACT THAT WE HAVE REFERENCES TO THEM TRYING TO HIDE INFORMATION, SAYING DON'T TELL ANYBODY, LET'S NOT GET THIS OUT THERE.
THE GUARD WAS COMING OUT WITH STATEMENTS THAT DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED WHAT THE AIR FORCE WAS SAYING.
THAT MODEL SHOWED THEY'RE ALLOWED.
SO THEY CHANGED THE NOISE MODEL AND THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL WITH SENATOR LEAHY'S HELP.
>> DARREN: WHAT ARE YOU ALLEGING THAT THE SENATOR DID?
>> ROSEANNE: FIRST OF ALL, HE DID NOT TELL US THE TRUTH.
HE CALLED THE CHIEF OF STAFF IN THE AIR FORCE, AND TOLD THEM ON SEPTEMBER 4, 2013, I WANT THE F 35 HERE.
TWO MONTHS LATER THEY SELECTED BURLINGTON.
THE TRUTH IS HERE, I JUST WANT TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH.
UNFORTUNATELY, THE TRUTH SHOWS SOME NASTY THINGS, THAT SOME OF THE SENIOR MEMBERS, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT LOW LEVEL PEOPLE, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT SENIOR OFFICERS WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER, WHAT THEY WERE DOING BEHIND THE SCENES.
>> DARREN: WILL YOUR ACTIONS HOLD UP PLANS TO BRING THE FIGHTER JET HERE NEXT YEAR?
>> ROSEANNE: I HOPE SO.
IT'S PRETTY DARN CLEAR WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED.
SOMEONE GOT WHAT THEY WANTED, THEY GOT THEIR WAY BY ASKING THEIR SENATOR TO INTERVENE.
THE SENATOR INTERVENED AND NOW WE GOTTEN SOMETHING WE SHOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN.
IT'S A DANGEROUS AIRCRAFT.
I HOPE AT A MINIMUM, WE TAKE A RELOOK AT THE INFORMATION.
>> DARREN: YOU MADE A CAREER FOR YOURSELF.
>> ROSEANNE: YES, UH HUH.
>> DARREN: A RETIRED COLONEL IN THE AIR FORCE, SOME FIND IT SURPRISING THAT YOU'RE TAKING SUCH A STAND AGAINST THIS FIGHTER JET, SOME WOULD SAY AGAINST THE MILITARY.
>> NOT THE MILITARY.
MY LOYALTY IS TO OUR COUNTRY, TO THE PEOPLE, AND TO THE WOMEN AND MEN IN THE ARMED SERVICES, FIRST AND FOREMOST.
THEY ARE NOT THE PLANE.
I PUT ALMOST 30 YEARS OF MY LIFE INTO ACTIVE DUTY.
PLEASE TELL ME I DON'T SUPPORT THE MILITARY BECAUSE I DON'T SUPPORT A PLANE DOES NOT MEAN I DON'T SUPPORT THE PEOPLE IN THE MILITARY, OR THEIR MISSION, OR THE GREAT WORK THEY ARE DOING, OR THE SACRIFICES THEY ARE MAKING.
THIS IS A PLANE, A PLANE THAT WILL CAUSE DAMAGE TO PEOPLE THAT THE AIR FORCE HAS ASSURED US WILL CAUSE DAMAGE TO PEOPLE.
I THINK IT'S MY OBLIGATION TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT IT.
I SEE THIS AS A PATRIOTIC DUTY TO SPEAK OUT.
>> DARREN: UP NEXT, THE GUARD'S RESPONSE TO THE ALLEGATIONS.
DON'T GO AWAY.
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>> DARREN: AND WE ARE BACK NOW WITH MAJOR STEVEN CRAY.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
YOU HEARD ROSEANNE GRECO MAKING SOME SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE GUARD.
THE GUARD MANIPULATED DATA AND CHANGED HOW THE NOISE LEVELS WERE TEST IN THAT PLANE TO BE MORE FAVORABLE FOR THEIR BASING IN BURLINGTON AND THEY POLITICKED FOR THE PLANE AND THE GUARD KEPT INFORMATION OUT OF THE STUDY AND AWAY FROM VERMONTERS.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND?
>> FIRST OF ALL, THIS OPPONENT IS WELL KNOWN TO THE BURLINGTON PUBLIC.
SHE CONTINUOUSLY SEEKS MEDIA ATTENTION FOR HER STOP THE F 35 CAMPAIGN.
YOU KNOW, I RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT ANYONE CAN MAKE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE MILITARY AND FILE THEM AS YOU SAID, TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE OF THE AIR FORCE, AND WE FULLY RESPECT THAT.
THE AIR FORCE HAS A PROCESS TO DEAL WITH THOSE TYPES OF ALLEGATIONS, AND WE'LL CERTAINLY FOLLOW THAT PROCESS.
AS FAR AS THE BASING IS CONCERNED, THERE IS A WELL ESTABLISHED, A TRANSPARENT, A REPEATABLE AND DEFENDABLE PROCESS, STRATEGIC BASING PROCESS THAT THE AIR FORCE USES WHEN THEY GO ABOUT MAKING MISSION CHANGES LIKE THIS HERE IN VERMONT.
IN FACT, THAT PROCESS WAS USED WHEN SELECTING THE F 35 FOR BURLINGTON IN 2013.
IT WAS CHALLENGED NUMEROUS TIMES AT SEVERAL LEVELS OF THE COURT SYSTEM IN THE FOLLOWING YEARS AND ALL OF THEM VALIDATED THE FACT THAT THE PROCESS WAS USED, THE DATA THAT WAS USED, AND I AM EXTREMELY CONFIDENT THAT ALL OF THE AIR FORCE OFFICIALS IN THE VERMONT AIR NATIONAL GUARD THAT HAD A PART IN SUPPLYING INFORMATION, AND DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC, DID SO APPROPRIATELY.
>> DARREN: SHE'S SAYING YOU KNOW, ALLEGEDLY UNETHICAL THINGS, ILLEGAL CONDUCT, SO YOU'RE SAYING YOU'RE CERTAIN THAT THE GUARD DID NEITHER.
>> YEAH, I AM VERY CONFIDENT THAT WE ACTED APPROPRIATELY, AND THE MEMBERS UNDERNEATH MY CHARGE THAT SUPPLY INFORMATION TO THE BASING PROCESS.
THE AIR FORCE BASING PROCESS DID APPROPRIATELY.
>> DARREN: WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT THE GROUP IS CLAIMING, THAT A DIFFERENT SYSTEM WAS USED TO MEASURE THE NOISE LEVELS, TO MAKE IT MORE FAVORABLE FOR BURLINGTON.
>> SO ALL OF THAT WAS PART OF THE BASING PROCESS AND THE DEVELOPMENT.
WE HAD INDIVIDUALS THAT PROVIDED SUBJECT EXPERTISE TO THE PROCESS.
THEY SUPPLIED IT TO THE AIR FORCE PROCESS.
I FEEL LIKE THEY ACTED APPROPRIATELY AND SUPPLIED THE INFORMATION THEY WERE ASKED FOR.
>> DARREN: WHAT ABOUT ALLEGATIONS THAT OTHER BASES WERE DEEMED MORE APPROPRIATE THAN BURLINGTON.
>> AGAIN, THAT'S ALL PART OF THE STRATEGIC BASING PROCESS.
THE AIR FORCE HAS THAT INFORMATION AT THEIR DISPOSAL WHEN MAKING THE DECISION.
THE DECISION WAS MADE THAT BURLINGTON WOULD RECEIVE THE F 35 IN 2013 AND IT WAS REAFFIRMED.
>> DARREN: ROSEANNE GRECO IS SAYING THIS PLANE IS DANGEROUS, AND PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS TO THE BURLINGTON AREA.
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?
>> THAT'S NOT TRUE.
THIS AIRCRAFT HAS FLOWN ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES NOW, IT'S FLOWN OPERATIONALLY, IT IS YOU KNOW, IT'S DOING WHAT THE AIR FORCE NEEDS IT TO DO AND THE AIRCRAFT WILL ARRIVE HERE IN SEPTEMBER OF 2019, THE FIRST TWO, THE AIRMEN AT THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE ARE 100% FOCUSED ON THAT MISSION CHANGE.
THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO AND THAT'S WHAT THEIR MISSION IS RIGHT NOW TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE READY.
>> DARREN: THE GUARD SAYS THEY WILL REDUCE NOISE, BUT GRECO SAYS THEY WON'T GET OFF THE GROUND IF YOU DON'T.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
>> WELL, I DON'T THINK SHE'S A PILOT AND PILOTS UNDERSTAND AERODYNAMICS, AND THEY WORK WITH THE ENGINEERS TO DETERMINE THE FLIGHT PROFILES THAT ARE ADEQUATE FOR BURLINGTON.
ALL OF THAT WAS CONSIDERED AND PART OF THE RECORD OF THE E.I.S.
>> DARREN: THE GROUP PUSHING FOR A DIFFERENT PLANE, IS THAT AN OPTION FOR BURLINGTON?
>> IT'S NOT AT THIS POINT.
WE WERE TOLD IN 2013 THAT THE NEXT MISSION FOR THE VERMONT AIR NATIONAL GUARD IS THE F 35 AND THAT'S WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING.
THE BASE, ALMOST THE ENTIRE BASE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, WELL UNDER WAY FOR THE SEPTEMBER 19 ARRIVAL.
WE WILL BE READY AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON.
>> DARREN: IF THE PLANE DIDN'T COME HERE, THEN WHAT FOR THE GUARD?
>> THAT'S A QUESTION FOR THE AIR FORCE.
THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD HAS A MISSION, AND THAT'S TO CONTINUE TO FLY THE F 16 UNTIL THE F 35 ARRIVES AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE PREPARING FOR.
>> DARREN: WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT PREPARATIONS, WHAT IS UNDER WAY AT THE BASE FOR THE F 35.
>> SO ONE OF THE LARGEST PROJECTS UNDER WAY IS BUILD A NEW BUILDING FOR THE F 35 SIMULATORS.
THERE ARE FOUR SIMULATORS COMING.
A LOT OF THE FLYING WILL BE DONE IN THE SIMULATOR WHEN IT COMES HERE TO BURLINGTON AND HANGERS AND OTHER MAINTENANCE FACILITIES, OPERATION FACILITIES THAT HAVE DESIGN CHANGES THAT WILL ADEQUATELY ADAPT TO THE NEW MISSION CHANGE.
THIS IS A 5TH GENERATION FIGHTER, THE F 16 IS A 4TH GENERATION FIGHTER.
IT'S NOT JUST AN UPGRADE, IT'S AN ENTIRELY NEW MISSION.
THE WAY THE AIR FORCE MAINTAINS THIS AIRCRAFT IS DIFFERENT THAN IN AN F 16, WHICH REQUIRE A NEW FACILITY.
>> DARREN: DO YOU THINK THESE NEW ALLEGATIONS RAISED BY OPPONENTS OF THE F 35 WILL DELAY ITS ARRIVAL?
>> I DON'T THINK SO, BUT AGAIN ALL OF THOSE ALLEGATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED BY THE AIR FORCE INSPECTOR GENERAL, AND IT'S THEIR JOB TO FOLLOW A PROCESS, AND WE WILL BE PART OF THAT PROCESS, IF ASKED TO DO SO.
>> DARREN: IN YOUR OPINION, WHY IS THE F 35 GOOD FOR VERMONT?
>> WELL, IT'S THE FUTURE OF THE AIR FORCE, TO BE QUITE FRANK.
THIS 5TH GENERATION CAPABILITY IS NEEDED BY THE UNITED STATES AND VERMONT IS GOING TO BE THE SECOND OPERATIONAL UNIT TO RECEIVE THAT AIRCRAFT AND BE PART OF THE OVERALL DEFENSE OF THE COUNTRY, AND THE SECURITY.
SO, THIS GENERATION OF NEW FIGHTER, AND WEAPON SYSTEM IS COMING ONLINE AND VERMONT IS LEADING THE WAY THERE THAT, IN A LOT OF REGARDS.
IT'S PROBABLY SECURES A MISSION FOR THE STATE OF VERMONT, AND SECURES THE JOBS, AND ALL THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT, FOR DECADES FOR SURE.
>> DARREN: IS THERE A LOT OF TRAINING THAT GOES ON WHEN A NEW PLANE LIKE THIS COMES, AND WHAT KIND OF TRAINING ARE WE TALKING ABOUT, OR DO THEY FLY SIMILARLY TO THE F 16S THAT THE PILOTS ARE FLYING.
>> I THINK THE PILOTS WILL ADAPT QUICKLY TO THIS.
THEY'RE DOING SOME SIMULATOR TRAINING.
WE HAVE BEEN IN A FIGHTER, YOU KNOW, A FIGHTER UNIT SINCE 1946.
WE HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST REASONS WE'RE CHOSEN FOR THIS MISSION, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF TECHNIQUES AND DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING MISSIONS.
WE HAVE AIRMEN THAT ARE STATIONED AT ALL THE BASES OPERATING THE F 35.
THEY'RE THERE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS BEFORE THEY COME BACK TO VERMONT TO HELP BUILD THAT EXPERIENCE AS WELL.
SO WE'RE GOT A NUMBER OF PEOPLE ALREADY HEAVILY TRAINED AND HEAVILY INVESTED IN THIS F 35 MISSION.
AGAIN, THE UNIT IS 100% FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE.
>> DARREN: GENERAL, WE DID JUST GET A STATEMENT FROM SENATOR LEAHY'S OFFICE, DAVID CARL, A SPOKESMAN FOR SENATOR LEAHY SENT THIS STATEMENT JUST NOW IN REGARDS TO THE ALLEGATIONS THAT ROSEANNE GRECO IS MAKING AGAINST THE GUARD AND HIM.
IT READS, IT'S DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND WHY SOME OPPONENTS WOULD WANT TO USE AN OUT OF DATE AND INACCURATE NOISE MODEL.
THERE HAS ALSO BEEN ENERGETIC EFFORTS TO MISRESPECT THE FACT AND CLOUD THE ISSUE WITH THE FALSE CLAIM THAT THERE COULD BE OTHER AIRCRAFTS THAT COULD BE BASED IN VERMONT.
THE IMPROVED NOISE MODEL THAT WAS USE IN THE FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT WAS THE MOST ACCURATE BY THE AIR FORCE'S OWN ESTIMATES, AND SAT AT OTHER BASES THAT WERE UNDER CONSIDERATION MADE THE SAME REQUEST THAT THE AIR FORCE AGREED AND THE UPDATED MODEL WAS USED ACROSS THE BOARD.
THE FACTS SHOW THAT WHEN ALL FACTORS WERE CONSIDERED, BURLINGTON WAS THE BEST PLACE FOR THE AIRCRAFT.
ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD TO THE SENATOR OFFICE'S STATEMENT?
>> I THINK THAT'S ACCURATE AND I APPRECIATE THAT.
I APPRECIATE THE ENTIRE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION'S SUPPORT FOR THE F 35, AND THE VERMONT INTERNATIONAL GUARD, AS WELL AS THE GOVERNOR AND THE MAYOR.
THEY HAVE BEEN TREMENDOUS SUPPORTERS OF THE GUARD IN WHOLE, SPECIFICALLY ON THE F 35 AND WE APPRECIATE IT.
>> DARREN: GENERAL STEVEN CRAY, WE APPRECIATE IT.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT HERE ON CHANNEL 3, "THE WEEKEND" STANDING BY.
TAKE CARE.
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