Col. David Augustine
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — The commander of Indiana Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing says the base in Fort Wayne is awaiting word on whether it will be one of military bases the Pentagon closes.
The Journal Gazette reports that Col. David Augustine said at a news conference Wednesday that all he’s heard so far is media speculation. He says hopes to hear of a decision on Friday.
The base is completing a three-year conversion from the F-16 fighter jet to the A-10, used to support ground troops. But the Department of Defense is committed to the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The Journal Gazette also said that Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman and Sens. Dan Coats and Richard Lugar will work to keep the base open. It employs nearly 1,000 people, including 358 full-time jobs.
During a round of closures in 2005, the Fort Wayne base absorbed fighter jets and crews from Terre Haute and Springfield, Ill.
The air base on Ferguson Road employs nearly 1,000 people in 358 full-time jobs and 597 part-time jobs, according to Metzger, public affairs officer for the 122nd Fighter Wing.