Last fall, the Air Force announced that a F-16 Air National Guard unit in South Burlington, Vermont was on a list of ten candidates to receive the F-35 when it is built and deployed. Not all of the local reaction has been positive. Reports from Eglin Air Force Base in Florida are that F-35s are significantly louder than the F-16s that operate now out of South Burlington. Some local residents have expressed serious concern. One of them, Juliet Buck, started a blog to provide a forum to discuss the issues. She contacted me, asking several questions about the F-35 itself and about the factors that can influence where military assets are based in the U.S. Her questions and my answers are below. I believe they provide a useful summary of the issues surrounding the F-35 and the factors that should influence where military units are based in the United States, and some factors that should not.
To read the Q&A with Winslow Wheeler by Juliet Buck, please click here.