The Nuclear Bomber Free Vermont Resolution
All new F-35As are being built with the capability to carry the B61-12 guided nuclear bomb, a weapon specially designed for the F-35A. Existing F-35As will be eventually modified to carry this 50 kiloton nuclear weapon. It has over 3 times the explosive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, which killed approximately 150,000 civilians.
Experts have stated that the military had long planned to make the F-35A a nuclear weapon system. However, this fact was never revealed to the public. It was only because of recent articles in the military press that referenced the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review that this information was revealed.
Both of Vermont’s senators have said they oppose building new nuclear weapons. Our current President has impulsively made statements about wanting to use nuclear weapons.
The particular bomb to be deployed on this bomber is a so-called “dial-a-yield.” Because the yield can be adjusted, military planners refer to it as a “usable nuke” because they think they can use it and not create all-out nuclear war.
The resolution concludes by directing the Vermont Governor and members of our Congressional Delegation to inform the Department of Defense that no nuclear weapon delivery system will be allowed to be based in Vermont.
House resolution strongly opposing the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system in the State of Vermont
Offered by: Representatives Cina of Burlington, McCullough of Williston, Anthony of Barre City, Bartholomew of Hartland, Burke of Brattleboro, Campbell of St. Johnsbury, Chesnut-Tangerman of Middletown Springs, Christensen of Weathersfield, Coffey of Guilford, Colburn of Burlington, Colston of Winooski, Cordes of Lincoln, Demrow of Corinth, Dolan of Waitsfield, Durfee of Shaftsbury, Haas of Rochester, Hooper of Montpelier, Hooper of Randolph, Jessup of Middlesex, Kornheiser of Brattleboro, Macaig of Williston, Ralph of Hartland, Scheu of Middlebury, Sheldon of Middlebury, Sullivan of Burlington, Till of Jericho, Townsend of South Burlington, and Wood of Waterbury
Whereas, the F-35 fighter jet, scheduled for deployment in Vermont, was designed with a requirement to carry a nuclear payload, and
Whereas, former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has spoken of the importance of the nuclear-armed F-35 as part of the nation’s deterrence equation, and
Whereas, the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review states that “a nuclear-armed F35 is fundamental to deterring Russia,” and
Whereas, the Pentagon has awarded funding to Lockheed Martin to develop a nuclear-armed F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter as part of a new nuclear strategy, and
Whereas, the U.S. Air Force plans to mount the B-61-12 nuclear gravity bomb on the F-35, thus integrating it into the air-delivered leg of the nuclear triad that also includes sea- and land-based missiles, and
Whereas, in 2017, the then Director of the F-35 Program Integration Office stated that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is slated to be armed with the B-61-12 nuclear gravity bomb “sometime between 2020 and 2022 but could carry the weapon sooner,” and
Whereas, the U.S. Air Force has also awarded Lockheed Martin $83.1 million to develop and test equipment for F-35A nuclear capability, and
Whereas, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy has written that throughout his time in the Senate he has “always fought to reduce the number of nuclear armaments, and to halt the testing, production, and proliferation of nuclear arsenals” and that he has “long believed that simply upgrading the entirety of the U.S. nuclear arsenal is an unaffordable course of action,” and
Whereas, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has written of the nation’s “already bloated nuclear arsenal” and has cosponsored the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act, which would reduce the size of the country’s nuclear arsenal, and that he “strongly oppose(s) the basing of nuclear weapons in Vermont,” and Whereas, U.S. Air Force documentation discussing the type of ordnance that might be deployed on the F-35 stated that “The F-35A would train for and deploy all the types of ordnance it is capable of carrying,” now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the General Assembly expresses its strong opposition to the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system in the State of Vermont, and be it further Resolved: That the General Assembly requests that the Governor and the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation inform the Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan that the State of Vermont will not support a nuclear weapon delivery system to be based in this State, and be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Governor, to Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, and to the Vermont Congressional Delegation.