FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) –The commander of the 122nd Air National Guard fighter wing in Fort Wayne confirmed Wednesday, the first of more than 150 proposed job cuts would begin at the base as early as October.
Col. David Augustine told reporters that if the base indeed loses its A-10 fighter planes, and picks up a mission to fly intelligence gathering planes instead, there will be a loss of 152 jobs, including 85 full-time positions.
Col. David Augustine/122nd Fighter Wing Commander: " This equates to a 27 percent loss in our full-time manpower, and over 10 percent loss in our traditional manpower. We believe this will have a negative net effect upon our local economy exceeding $8-million annually."
The proposed changes are part of a major military downsizing effort under consideration.
The head of the Indiana National Guard and members of Indiana's Congressional delegation are lobbying to reverse the shakeup in Fort Wayne.
Air base officials told Indiana’s NewsCenter in February that if there were job cuts due to the new proposal, they would be minimal, but that changed Tuesday.
The United States Air Force informed Adjutant General for Indiana, Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger Tuesday of proposed job cuts at the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne.
These cuts will enable the proposal of transferring MC-12 airplanes to Fort Wayne’s air base to become a reality.
In February, President Obama announced budget cuts to the US Air Force as part of his new military strategy plan.
That means three A-10 squadrons will be de-commissioned, including the 122nd which houses A-10 fighter jets.
Indiana’s NewsCenter was told, the A-10s that carry bombs and feature other high powered weaponry, require more maintenance and therefore workers.
The 122nd employs 956 people now, a number that would drop to 804 if the cuts happen as proposed.
Col. Augustine emphasizes it’s only a recommendation, and nothing will be approved until the government has gone through the budgetary process.
The MC-12s in the shakeup would be phased-in beginning Oct. 1, 2013.
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