FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Rep. Jim Banks of the Third District hosted a roundtable for federal officials to meet with state and local stakeholders to discuss the long-term future of the 122nd Fighter Wing and the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base Tuesday.
“We want to transition as soon as we can, like I said we had a couple programs already set up and then the A-10 continued and we sit there and think we planned everything in advance and we’re lucky enough to keep the A-10s, so what we’re trying to do is make sure that we are ready to go whenever the moment comes,” the Democrat senator said.
In recent years there were plans to replace the A-10 jets with F-16s. That plan fell through and the Air Force extended its use of A-10s.
“Now the plan is not definite and so what we’re wanting to do is make sure that there is an eventual transition in a continued fighter for the 122nd here in Fort Wayne,” Adjutant General of Indiana Courtney Carr said.
Tuesday, area leaders met to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the 122nd.
“To prepare ourselves to work with Congress to make sure that the stability and stabilization and sustainability of this base is there,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said.
Donnelly said there is nothing that has happened to cause concern or spark Tuesday’s meeting. He said it’s all just about planning ahead for the future.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that we are our own toughest critic in effect that whenever decisions are made we want to have made them years before fix whatever is on there,” Donnelly said.