FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The United States Air Force announced Tuesday morning that the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base will be getting 18 F-16 Fighting Falcons to replace the A-10C Thunderbolt jets currently flown there.
The announcement was made Tuesday morning during a news conference held at the headquarters of the 122nd Fighter Wing.
The news conference addressed concerns related to Defense Secretary’s Chuck Hagel’s proposal last month that would eliminate the A-10 as a means of trimming the defense budget.
That proposal called for the A-10s to be replaced by F-35 Joint Strike fighters.
The Air Force on Tuesday proposed replacing the A-10s with F-16s.
The 122nd Fighter Wing previously flew the F-16 at Fort Wayne from 1991 until 2010 when it was replaced by the A-10C.
Returning to the F-16 allows the 122nd to remain in fighters until the unit can vie for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Col. David Augustine, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander, said, “Our strategic goal remains to bring the JSF to Fort Wayne. Although we’ll hate to see our A-10s depart, this is the right mission at the right time to bridge us to the Joint Strike Fighter! Our rich history in the F-16 will once again return.”