New Attack Plan To Keep A-10 Fighter Jets In Fort Wayne

By Maureen Mespell

February 8, 2012 Updated Feb 8, 2012 at 9:29 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Officials are using a new attack plan to keep the A-10 Fighter Jets in Fort Wayne.

Wednesday officials at the base explained why they don't think taking away the A-10's is the best move financially for the military.

Major General Martin Unbarger with the Indiana National Guard was at the base and says it costs far less to run an Air National Guard Base like Fort Wayne’s. The cost is about 28 cents on the dollar. So in his mind it saves the military money to keep the A-10's here.

The 122nd has 21 A-10 fighter jets. All 21 will be taken from the base if the proposed cuts from the Defense Department go through.

Major Unbarger says he agrees the Air Force needs to cut back but says they are doing it in the wrong places.

“As a citizen, take the Military out of it, as a citizen I think it would be easy for me to choose. I know where I'd like to put my money. I know where I would like to see the A-10's housed if you can do it 28 cents on the dollar. And, when I looked at Colonel Augustine and I say I need you to go and I need you to fight and do close air support, I know you've always been there, your airmen's always been there.”

If the A-10's are taken from the base, some jobs will be lost but the exact number isn’t known.

Under this proposal they would still have a manned operation at the base even if the A-10's are gone.

In their place would be the M-12 aircraft. It would mean lots of new changes for the personnel on the base as well.

Officials at the base tell me while more people will be working onboard the M-12 it will require far less maintenance.

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