Wednesday, February 1, 2012

122nd Fighter Wing in Jeopardy Because of $500 Billion in Defense Cuts?

By Scott Sarvay and Ryan Elijah
Indiana's NewsCenter
February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) – Announced at the beginning of the month, the U.S. Air Force was asked to reduce its budget at the request of President Barack Obama in his new military strategy plan.

While there has been no official word given to the base, an Air Force source told The Military Times that Fort Wayne's National Guard Airbase is one of three bases that will be cut.

The Fort Wayne National Guard Airbase which is home to the 122nd Fighter Wing retired their wing of F-16s in 2010 for a wing of A-10s.

The base employs nearly one thousand workers and is estimated to bring in nearly $60-million to the local economy.

A-10 "Warthogs" are considered the workhorses in the war on terror and work closely in support of ground forces. The military source says the military will shift focus to F-35's, which can fly more missions.

The 122nd Fighter Wing released this statement to Indiana's NewsCenter Wednesday morning:

"The Governor, Adjutant General, Congressional Delegation, Base Community Council and myself are ready to engage to ensure the 122nd Fighter Wing is positioned for the future. The Air National Guard is an extremely efficient fighting force costing our nation only 28 cents on the dollar when compared to our active duty counterparts. In this challenging time when budgets are driving national security decisions, it is only right that efficient solutions are prioritized in this debate. In the case of the 122nd Fighter Wing, as we await the final USAF recommendation for us, we will continue to protect our ground forces in combat via the world's premiere Close Air Support platform, the A-10 Warthog."

- Col David L Augustine, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander

Indiana's NewsCenter is investigating the story and will have updates as information becomes available.

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