Congressman Pence Pays Visit to Fort Wayne Air Guard Base

By Scott Sarvay
By Maureen Mespell

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April 10, 2012 Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 7:44 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The latest mission at the 122nd Fighter Wing is to keep the A-10 fighter jets at the base. Tuesday Congressman Mike Pence visited the base. He says he's continuing conversations in Washington and hopes to keep the jets in the Summit City.

"I think it's the right thing for Indiana, I think it's the right thing for our national defense, but I also believe it's the right thing for taxpayers,” said Congressman Mike Pence, (R) Indiana 6th District.

The Department of Defense proposed replacing the A-10 with the MC-12 in February. The change would mean switching from a fighter jet to an intelligence and surveillance plane, and jobs cuts at the base.

Tuesday Congressman Mike Pence toured the 122nd Fighter Wing. He says it's simply cost effective for the government to keep these fighter jets in Fort Wayne.

"This is not just about jobs. The Air National Guard operates 28 cents on the dollar,” said Pence.

Saving money is something many people have pointed out since this proposal in February but Congressman Pence says the War on Terror has proven that the National Guard is playing a much larger role in the military.

"The National Guard demonstrated over the last decade that it has the capability to be at the tip of the spear, and has greatly expanded the role of the citizen soldier,” said Pence.

Congressman Pence describes the idea of shifting where these planes are as instinct.

"What we see happening in this process is kind of a natural tendency to go back to the way things were and I'm determined to preserve the expanded role that the Air National Guard has won,” said Pence.

Pence says he hopes to have answers by the end of this fiscal year, but says it could take longer to reach an agreement.




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