Sen. Lugar Tours Air Base

By Stephanie Parkinson

May 1, 2012 Updated May 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The battle to keep the A-10 fighter jets in the Summit City continues. A few months ago The Department of Defense suggested replacing the jets at the base with a different aircraft. It would mean they would no longer be a fighter wing and there would be job cuts.

Tuesday U.S. Senator Richard Lugar made a stop at the air base. He toured the base and says he gained a lot of information that he can use back in Washington D.C. to help in the fight to keep the jets in Fort Wayne.

"I've asked the officers in charge to furnish very specific figures and arguments that I can utilize with members of the armed services committee," said U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, (R) Indiana.

The point Major General R. Martin Umbarger, Colonel David Augustine and lawmakers continue to stress is the 122nd Fighter Wing can run the A-10 fighter jets for less money.

"The cost to the American taxpayer for personnel here is about 26 percent of what it would be with active duty personnel," said Lugar.

"Since 1947 there's been fighters at Fort Wayne, each and every conflict of our nation, when asked upon, our airman have always been there and they've done it in spades," said Major General R. Martin Umbarger, Indiana Army and Air National Guard.

Senator Lugar says what makes this fight even tougher is that Fort Wayne isn't the only base facing these cuts, many other states are in the same situation.

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