Fort Wayne's 122nd Fighter Wing finished its conversion to the A-10C ground-attack plane Sunday – just over a year from when the Defense Department plans to move those aircraft elsewhere.
The Air National Guard base at 3005 Ferguson Road has reached operational capability and can now employ the entire fighter wing in support of the A-10s, the unit said in a statement.
The end of the conversion comes even as the 122nd fights to keep its nearly two dozen A-10s in Fort Wayne. Under an Air Force budget proposal, the MC-12W reconnaissance plane could replace the A-10 at the base as early as October 2013.
Under that plan, about 152 jobs would be cut from the fighter wing. The changes stem from a package of Defense Department cuts that would slash military spending by more than $480 billion over 10 years.
The fighter wing began its conversion from the F-16C to the A-10 in 2009 after getting approval in the federal budget for fiscal year 2010, the statement said. Officials attributed that change to budget restraints and the F-16's lifespan.