Vermont F-35 opponents raise nuke concerns

Published: Mar. 12, 2019 at 4:01 PM EDT
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A group of anti-F-35 activists say the military may send nuclear weapons to Vermont if the new jet is based here.

Many in the group have opposed the pending arrival of the new Air Force jets. Now they've launched a new group called Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont.

Retired Air Force Col. Rosanne Greco says the F-35 jets coming to Vermont may carry nuclear bombs in the future, which could make the Vermont Air National Guard base at the Burlington International Airport a target for enemies.

"If Donny ever initiates a nuclear conflict, we're an easy target. Airfields are super easy target," Greco said.

"Let's send a clear message that we do not want nuclear weapons in Vermont. We do not want nuclear weapons anywhere," said Rachel Siegel with the Peace and Justice Center.

Vermont's congressional delegation issued a joint statement Tuesday reiterating support for basing the jets in Vermont and opposing adding nuclear weapons to the Guard's mission. They also say the Vermont base is not equipped to handle nuclear weapons and there are not plans to upgrade it.