The Vermont Air National Guard base at the Burlington airport might become the home of a new generation of fighter jets, the F-35. Burlington is one of two finalists the Air Force is considering, but opinions are split in the Burlington area on basing the F-35 program there. Proponents say the F-35 program will keep good jobs in the region and ensure the Vermont Air National Guard’s relevance long into the future. Opponents say the costs are too high to property values and quality of life for residents affected by noise.
We hear the pros and cons from Frank Cioffi, president of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, who supports basing the program here, and from Roseanne Greco, chair of the South Burlington City Council, who opposes it. We also talk with Col. Joel Clark of the Vermont National Guard about the technical aspects of the F-35.
Also in the program, an update on an intrepid teen mountain climber. Last fall, at 17 years, 4 months and 3 days old, Kristen Kelliher became the youngest woman to summit the highest points in each of the 48 states in the continental United States. In February, she checked off number 49: Mauna Kea in Hawaii. And just last month, she made it to the summit of the highest mountain in North America: Alaska’s Mt. McKinley. We talk to Kelliher about her hardest climb yet – and what she’s setting her sights on next.
And we read from your messages to the program.