Indiana National Guard Challenging Air Force Proposal
The Indiana National Guard is challenging an Air Force proposal that would change the mission of the 122nd Fighter Wing based in Fort Wayne.
The proposal to replace 21 A-10 combat jets (pictured) with 9 aircraft designed for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering is part of a larger plan to reduce the Air Force budget. Indiana Adjutant General Martin Umbarger says the Air Force plan to reduce the budget is coming on the backs of the Air National Guard across the country, instead of the active duty units. Umbarger, and the Adjutant Generals across the national contend the Air National Guard can maintain the Fighter Wing and others at a fraction of the cost compared to an active duty unit.
Umbarger says his immediate concerns are that the Air Force would eventually eliminate the 122nd Wing completely if they move from combat jets to manned reconnaissance aircraft because they are becoming more and more obsolete with the increase in unmanned drones. The Adjutant Generals from all 50 states, the three territories and the District of Columbia and the nation's governors have written letters to the Air Force to express their disagreement with the proposal.
The Air Force plan is still being debated in Congress.