Vermont Guard just admitted that the F-35 training amidst Vermont cities is illegal
WCAX reports that the Vermont National Guard plans extended F-35 training flights this week. F-35 jets will be blasting thousands of people in three Vermont cities with 115 decibel noise from 8am to 4pm on Tuesday. And then from 8am to 8pm on Wednesday. And then from 8:30am to 8pm on Thursday. All "to prepare pilots for off-station training later this summer."
While it could be an especially ear and brain damaging week for people living, working, or going to school in the flight path, there is one upside: The plan demonstrates that the Vermont National Guard doesn’t actually need to train with F-35 jets in a densely populated area after all.
If the F-35 pilots can train "off-station later this summer," as WCAX reported, then their training does not require ever blasting the ears and brains of thousands of Vermonters with 115 decibel noise. The plan proves conclusively that the training can be conducted remote from the most densely populated cities in Vermont. The plan to take the F-35 jets elsewhere for training later this summer proves that F-35 training flights from a runway amidst three densely populated Vermont cities is not a military necessity.
The use of military forces in a way that harms civilians without military necessity is not just immoral and unjust. It is also illegal. The complete lack of military necessity for the F-35 training operation in a densely populated area means that one of the military's fundamental rules is being starkly violated. “Military necessity” is an absolute legal requirement for any military operation where civilians or civilian property may be harmed.
The harm the F-35 training flights cause to Vermonters living, working, or going to school in the flight path include pain, injury to bodily organs, severe distress, and suffering on a mass scale. All documented in detailed online report and complaint forms, in the recently released documentary film, “Jet Line: Voicemails From the Flight Path,” in a September 27, 2020 VTDigger news report and in an April 27, 2021 VTDigger news report that also disclosed that more than 1400 noise complaints had been submitted to the Vermont National Guard.
The F-35 training flights in a densely populated area also violate the express US constitutional requirement that the training of the militia (now called the national guard) must be "according to the discipline prescribed by Congress." That discipline includes the congressionally enacted Universal Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the US War Crimes Act, and at least three Senate-ratified treaties, all of which protect civilians from military operations.
The F-35 training flights amidst cities also violate US and Vermont constitutional rights, Vermont’s own laws, and international law. There is no basis in any law whatsoever for military forces to train in a location that harms civilians or civilian property.
The F-35 training flights in Vermont cities are blatantly illegal state-sponsored violence on steroids. Moreover, their continuation in the face of thousands of complaints exhibits depraved indifference to the suffering of Vermonters.
As the F-35 training flights in a densely populated area are illegal, they must immediately be stopped. The perpetrators must be arrested, investigated, prosecuted, and incarcerated no matter how high up in government they may be so that Vermonters are never again subjected to such vicious abuse by their own government officials. But a deeply flawed criminal justice system not only fails to protect Vermonters but has also granted impunity to the state’s highest ranking political and military leaders.
So take heed of the coming week’s extended F-35 flights. Use the contact information here to persistently report and complain about what happened to you during your exposure to the damaging F-35 noise. And to demand an immediate halt to the F-35 training flights at BTV—and in any populated area.
Vermont National Guard's Complaint Line: 802-660-5379
Governor Phil Scott 802-828-3333 Chief of Staff <Jason.Gibbs@vermont.gov>
Online F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form: https://tinyurl.com/4zjjn39x
Senator Patrick Leahy 800-642-3193 Chief of Staff <email@example.com>
Senator Bernie Sanders 800-339-9834 <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>
Congressman Peter Welch 888-605-7270 Chief of Staff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Burlington City Council <email@example.com>
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott <email@example.com>
S. Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig <email@example.com>
VT Senate President Becca Balint <firstname.lastname@example.org>
VT House Speaker Jill Krowinski <email@example.com>
Attorney General TJ Donavan <DonovanTJ@gmail.com> and States Attorney Sarah George <Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org>