Indiana Governor hopeful, Congressman Mike Pence, was in Fort Wayne Tuesday to talk about the fight to keep fighter jets at the Fort Wayne Air National Guard base. Pence said cuts need to be made, but the National Guard isn't the best place to make them.
In February the Department of Defense released a proposal that calls for the 122nd Fighter Wing to switch from fighter jets to surveillance planes. It is part of millions worth of cuts in national defense budget.
Tuesday, Congressman Mike Pence called the proposal penny wise and pound foolish. Pence said "When it comes to the 122nd I really think that the efficiency that we find in 28 cents on the dollar in meeting our national defense needs with the Air National Guard is a case that has to be made."
Pence said he has talked with Pentagon officials and colleagues about his concerns with the Department of Defense proposal to change the 122nd to surveillance planes. He says soon he will talk to members of the Senate on the issues.
He would not elaborate on how those conversations are going. Pence said "Let me keep those conversations confidential. We are in the midst of a process where in the midst of a discussion and that involves proposals and counter proposals."
The Air National Guard Adjutant General for Indiana has submitted a proposal to the Department of Defense requesting the 122nd stay a fighter jet base. In the proposal he requested base take on a mix of fighter jets, opposed to transitioning completely to the MC-12 surveillance place. The Department of Defense has not yet made a response.