F-16 Fighting Falcons are returning to the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne, a move officials say is good news for the future of the base. The announcement was made by Colonel David Augustine Tuesday.
The Pentagon’s proposed 2015 budget trades-in the Air National Guard base’s A-10 Thunderbolts for the more versatile F-16.
This is the first change in aircraft at the base since 2010.
Master Sergeant Darin Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing says the return to the F-16 ensures the viability of the base, and keeps jobs in the local economy.
“This is good news for us," Hubble says. "It definitely is allowing several people to go home and have far less fear in terms of their livelihood in Fort Wayne, and what it means to the family members who are on the other side of this.”
Hubble also calls this a bridge mission that makes the unit more likely to become benefactors of newer better aircraft in the future, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Governor Mike Pence and other leaders support the change, and say Indiana is determined to bring the F-35 to Fort Wayne.