Pitch To Save Fort Wayne Fighter Jets Gets Attention Of Air Force Leaders

By Jeff Neumeyer

March 15, 2012 Updated Mar 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Show me the money.

U. S. Air Force officials that could save Air National Guard jobs across the country, including some at the Fort Wayne base, are looking at a cost-cutting counterproposal.

Technically, Fort Wayne is still on the hook to lose twenty A-10 fighter jets, a move that would cost the local base 152 jobs.

The job losses with the 122nd Fighter Wing are part of a U. S. Air Force plan to eliminate 5,100 Air Guard positions nationally.

But according to the Buffalo News, the Air Force is looking into a counterproposal offered by a group of governors, which would save about 3,000 guard jobs, and cut 2,500 additional active duty Air Force slots instead.

If embraced, Fort Wayne figures to keep its at risk A-10’s, rather than make a planned switch to MC-12w propeller planes used for intelligence gathering.

The Indiana National Guard is arguing that keeping the A-10's in Fort Wayne will actually save the military money.

Col. David Augustine/122nd Fighter Wing Commander: " Certainly it's a common crying sound throughout the halls of Congress right now, the efficiency of the Air National Guard. We are so efficient when you look at just any of the other forces, I guess, out there, that why wouldn't you be attracted to us, based on a pretty challenging economic condition."

The Air Force has made a pledge that senior Defense Department officials will discuss the counterproposal "within days", and that a conclusion needs to be reached in the next couple of months.

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