Vt. Guard calls F-35 ballot question misleading

Published: Feb. 9, 2018 at 12:16 PM EST
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The leader of the Vermont National Guard has a message for Burlington voters. It's about a ballot question on the new F-35 fighter jets heading for the Green Mountain Boys next year.

Opponents of the jets pushed for the nonbinding question on the March ballot requesting cancellation of F-35 basing at Burlington airport. Maj. Gen. Steven Cray says even though the measure won't change the Air Force's decision on the F-35, he's speaking out because it could trick voters.

"In my opinion, the ballot question is inaccurate in that it misleads the voter into thinking they are supporting the Air Guard when, in fact, it attempts to reverse a decision by the Air Force nearly four years ago," Cray said.

Opponents say the jets are noisy and have a spotty safety record.

The Guard is phasing out its aging fleet of F-16s and will be one of the first bases to host a fleet of F-35s.