COLCHESTER, Vt. - Local 22 & Local 44 News has learned hundreds of members of the Vermont Air National Guard are preparing for a potential deployment overseas to join the fight against terrorism.
While the orders are not final, sources tell Local 22 & Local 44 the Air Guard is potentially deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. That area includes North Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South Asia. For security and safety reasons, we’ve decided to withhold the exact location.
The Guard would not confirm the deployment to Local 22 & Local 44 News, but State Public Affairs Officer Captain Dyana Allen sent us a statement saying: “The Vermont Air National Guard has no official tasking at this time, however, the men and women of the Vermont National Guard are well-trained, capable and ready whenever their State or Nation calls for their service."
Last week, the Air Guard released an alert announcing it was scheduled to do routine training in the Chittenden County area from November 21 through November 23. “The training flights are scheduled to occur Monday through Wednesday during normal operating hours,” according to the media statement. “Local community members can expect periods of increased air traffic, and possible increased aircraft noise during the morning to early afternoon hours.”
On Thursday, November 10, the Vermont Air National Guard also sent out an advisory reading "due to training requirements, the Vermont Air National Guard 158th Fighter Wing night flying schedule will extend until Friday, November 18.” The statement continues, “This training is conducted to maintain operational readiness for all military personnel involved. Training exercises allow the VTANG an opportunity to hone service member's proficiency to provide a mission ready force.”
Local 22 & Local 44 reached out to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin for comment about the potential deployment. Scott Coriell, spokesperson for Gov. Shumlin, said the governor periodically briefs with Vermont Adjutant Gen. Steven Cray, however, he would have no comment regarding the matter. Coriell referred us back to the guard for comment.
This is a developing story. Local 22 & Local 44 will update this story as new developments warrant.
(This story was updated Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. with comment from the governor's office.)
You can also find an update to this story by clicking here.
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