The Nuclear Bomber Free Vermont Resolution
The Vermont Senate passed this resolution on May 23, 2019, making the will of the people clear.
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.
Senate resolution strongly opposing the basing of any nuclear weapon delivery system in Vermont
Offered by: Senators Pollina of Middlesex, Baruth of Burlington, Clarkson of Woodstock, Hooker of Rutland, Ingram of Williston, McCormick of Bethel, Pearson of Burlington, and Perchlik of Montpelier.
Whereas, the State of Vermont has long been a national leader in opposing the spread of nuclear weapons, and
Whereas, at Town Meeting in 1982, 88 percent of the 180 municipalities voting on a U.S–U.S.S.R. bilateral nuclear freeze ballot measure voted in the affirmative, and
Whereas, at Town Meeting in 1999, 33 Vermont municipalities voted to “call upon the U.S. government and governments of all nuclear weapons states to secure on an urgent basis a nuclear weapons abolition treaty” that would include a timetable for the early and mutually verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons, and
Whereas, shortly after the 33 towns approved this town meeting question, the General Assembly adopted Acts and Resolves No. R-120, “Joint resolution relating to urgently requesting the U.S. government to immediately enter into negotiations with all other nuclear nations for the adoption of a verifiable treaty to abolish nuclear weapons,” and
Whereas, on May 7, 2019, a retired Vermont Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel testified before the Senate Committee on Government Operations that when the now-retired F-89 aircraft was stationed in Burlington it carried nuclear warheads, but that neither the U.S. Department of Defense nor the U.S. Air Force informed the State of Vermont that these weapons were being stored locally, and
Whereas, the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, a publication of the U.S. Department of Defense, states that “We [the United States] are committed to upgrading the DCA (Dual-Capable Aircraft) with the nuclear-capable F-35 aircraft,” and further that “The United States is also incorporating nuclear capability onto the F-35, to be used by the United States and NATO allies, as a replacement for the current aging DCA,” and
Whereas, in a July 2018 interview, an official in the U.S. Air Force’s Financial Management and Comptroller’s office indicated that the variant of the F-35 to be assigned to the National Guard will eventually receive a Block 4 (nuclear capable) upgrade, and
Resolved by the Senate of the State of Vermont: That the Senate of the State of Vermont expresses its strong opposition to the basing of any nuclear delivery system in the State of Vermont, and be it further
Resolved: That the Secretary of the Senate 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. And that when so amended the resolution ought to be adopted.