BURLINGTON — The Vermont Army National Guard is monitoring some ongoing small fires at the forested Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho that flared up during training exercises last weekend.
Capt. Chris Gookin of the guard tells the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/18UREeE) the fires are contained and helicopter support is available to douse them with water if needed.
He said the fires were sparked by the use of munitions and small arms during weekend training. He said none of the fires had gotten out of control. Some have been put out, and some have flared up again.
BURLINGTON — The spokesman for the Vermont National Guard has retired, ending a 33-year career with the Guard.
Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow of Essex Junction has worked much of his career in public affairs with the Guard, typing his first news release in 1987.
The 58-year-old Goodrow has spoken on behalf of soldiers who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and returned home to help rebuild Vermont following Tropical Storm Irene.
He told the Burlington Free Press the hardest thing was dealing the deaths of soldiers.
Capt. Chris Gookin is succeeding Goodrow.
COLCHESTER — About 30 Vermont Air National Guard members are headed to Afghanistan where they will provide engineering support at a coalition airbase.
The airmen from the 158th Civil Engineer Squadron will leave Vermont on Saturday.
Vermont Guard spokesman Capt. Chris Gookin did not say how long the airmen will be in Afghanistan or where in the country they will serve.
Gookin says the airmen headed to Afghanistan will primarily be providing engineering for airfield operations and have a secondary mission of maintaining the installation where they will be based.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Business leaders have gathered 11,000 petition signatures in support of a plan to base F-35 jet fighters at the Vermont Air Guard Base in South Burlington.
Frank Cioffi of the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce says the signatures reflect widespread regional support for the proposal. The petitions were placed in stores and gas stations in northwestern Vermont.
Vermont Public Radio reports the chamber is asking the City Council in South Burlington to reverse its previous vote that rejected locating the jets at the base, which is at Burlington International Airport.
Neighborhoods have been concerned about the noise level. The chamber maintains the Guard is an important economic asset to the region.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Republican U.S. Senate candidate John MacGovern is going to be outlining his position on the debate about whether the U.S. Air Force should equip the Vermont Air National Guard with F-35 fighter planes, which would be based at the South Burlington airport.
MacGovern is planning to discuss the issue with reporters Thursday in South Burlington.
The Air Force is in the process of deciding where it will base the next generation fighter plane. The base at the South Burlington airport is one of the finalists.
Some local residents are opposed to basing the planes in Vermont.
MacGovern’s opponent in the November election, independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, favors bringing the planes to Vermont.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — The possible arrival of F-35 fighter jets at the Burlington International Airport will be the topic of discussion at St. Michael’s College.
The college is hosting a “conversation” on the topic Wednesday at 7 p.m..
Some neighbors are opposed to the fighter jets being based at the Vermont Air National Guard facilities.
The Burlington Free Press reports that Tom Torti, president of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Frank Cioffi, president of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. and of Cynosure, the economic development corporation for Chittenden County, will speak in support of the proposal.
Rosanne Greco, a retired Air Force colonel and current chairwoman of the South Burlington City Council, and Jim Dumont, a Bristol attorney representing property owners, will speak against the basing.
COLCHESTER — The Vermont National Guard and Vermont State Guard are holding a ceremony at Camp Johnson to recognize prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.
Former WWII prisoner of war and author J. Francis Angier and Vermont Lieutenant Gov. Phil Scott will speak at the ceremony on Friday in Colchester.
The event will include the laying of a wreath and a performance by the 40th Army Band.
The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the Green Mountain Armory and is free and open to the public. Positive identification is required to get in to Camp Johnson.
JERICHO — The Vermont National Guard will be firing artillery during two days of training at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Underhill and Jericho.
Guard officials say up to 120 artillery rounds will be fired each day on Friday and Saturday starting midmorning.
The live fire training is expected to wrap up in the late afternoon on each day.
The Ethan Allen Firing Range is closed to the public.