Election Results Will be a Big Indicator of Defense Funding

By Stephanie Parkinson

October 31, 2012 Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 10:44 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Election Day is less than a week away and what happens on November 6 could play a big role in the future of Fort Wayne's 122nd Fighter Wing.

Funding America's military has become a focus leading up to the presidential election. Governor Mitt Romney is promising he will restore funding to the Department of Defense if he’s elected.

Restoring the funds would almost guarantee the A-10 fighter jets would remain in Fort Wayne. But if the current administration stays the cuts to the defense budget will most likely stick.

"Certainly the President and Congress will make the final conclusion as far as if we don't cut the military, or cut the military and we're going to follow suit,” said David Col. Augustine, Commander, 122nd Fighter Wing.

In February the base was told by the Department of Defense they would be losing their A-10 fighter jets and be given the MC-12 to replace it.

The impact would stretch beyond just stripping the local air base of its fighter jets it would also bring job loss. But as of right now, no final call has been made and it's still business as usual.

"By next year, hopefully springtime, we'll know by then what's going to be the future mission; we'd love to keep fighters in Fort Wayne, that's our goal here,” said Col. Augustine.

In the spring the DOD will be looking at their budget, but who is elected president could give a good indication of how the defense budget will look. Either way Col. Augustine thinks his base should be left as is because guard bases cost less to operate.

"In the truest sense, I mean I hope we don't take cuts. I think, here at the base, specifically the guard, we're such an efficient force,” said Col. Augustine.

Despite the unknowns Col. Augustine says moral remains high at the air base and they remain focused on their mission.

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