Why do Vermont's F-35's train at night?

Published: Mar. 7, 2020 at 8:39 PM EST
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The F-35 fighter jet program will deliver its 500th plane to Burlington. Right now, The Vermont Air National Guard has 7 jets on the ground, and have been doing some night training to sharpen their skills.

Col. Nate Graber of the VTANG says it is important to get comfortable with the new jets, and operating them at all hours of the day, and night.

"I liken it to driving a car during the day and driving a car at night," he said, "there are some challenges that come along with any kind of driving or any kind of night time flying. One of the major differences in flying at night is in how we come back and land; we don't come back to what we call a visual approach during night time formations," Col. Graber said.

Officials say the maneuvers available to the jets are much more limited at night, which is a very important thing to practice for future missions where they may be in a hostile area.

Another limitation for the VTANG during this training period is one that they set for themselves, a deadline to have the jets back on the ground.

The Air Guard has received over sixty noise complaints since the beginning of the year, they decided to make sure all jets were landed by 8:00 PM so that they don't impact the surrounding community.

"We do realize we generate some noise when we come back in and land and take off of course," Colonel Graber said, "So, for us, part of it is trying to be good stewards with the community."

"If I'm practicing late at night they're really really loud," Adam Wolinski, local musican and Burligton resident said. "And there's some sort of like end of the world frightening about the like, the reverberations."

The training at night is expected to wrap up on Thursday, March 7th.