Fort Wayne Fighter Wing to get F-16s

Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin
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The 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne will be receiving F-16 jets to replace its current fleet of A-10 aircraft. The plan is included in the president's budget for fiscal year 2015.

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) praised the move.

"This is a great day for the 122nd Fighter Wing and the Indiana Air National Guard," said Coats. "The Fort Wayne base has the runway length, capacity, airspace and skilled personnel to take on this new mission. The F-16 has a proud history in Allen County and represents a long-term bridge to the Joint Strike Fighter. I join with the Fort Wayne community in welcoming back F-16s. I commend General Umbarger, Colonel Augustine and the entire 122nd Fighter Wing who have demonstrated that this base is one of the best in the country. The credit goes to those who have made the 122nd Fighter Wing an outstanding and nationally-recognized unit."

The Fort Wayne Air National Guard base is home to the 122nd Fighter Wing, which currently consists of 21 A-10 aircraft. As the A-10s are phased out by the Air Force, the 122nd Fighter Wing will begin a new mission with F-16s by the end of the decade.

Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) issued this statement:

"The Air National Guard Airmen in Fort Wayne have a proud history of protecting our country, and I welcome the announcement that the 122nd Fighter Wing's air combat mission will continue," said Donnelly. "As we confront budget challenges in the coming days and weeks, I will continue to advocate for responsible decisionmaking and investments in Air Guard personnel, training and infrastructure. The 122nd Fighter Wing has earned a reputation for excellence in the Air National Guard, and I strongly support a continued air combat mission."