updated: 6/14/2012 3:25:56 PM
The 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne says it has finished a conversion to the A-10C Thunderbolt aircraft. The Air National Guard Base started the conversion from the F-16C in 2009. The end of that process comes as the base fights to keep roughly two dozen A-10s and more than 150 jobs.
June 14, 2012
Fort Wayne IAP, IN – The 122d Fighter Wing declared the end of their conversion into the A-10C Thunderbolt II fighter aircraft Sunday, June 10th.
After being approved in the fiscal year 2010 budget, the 122nd Fighter Wing began preparing to convert from the F-16C to the A-10C Warthog in the winter of 2009. The conversion was due to the projected life-span of the F-16, as well as budget restraints. Although the base was converting aircraft, hundreds of Blacksnakes, what Wing members are known as, have been deployed around the globe the past three years.
Operational Capability means that the unit is able to employ the entire Wing in the A-10C mission. “With the hard work and dedication of our unit members, we are able to come out of conversion ahead of schedule,” said Col. David Augustine, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work our Airmen have accomplished. This is yet another example of why we are one of the finest fighter wings in the country and need to remain in fighters.”
This past year, the 122nd Fighter Wing received their 5th Outstanding Unit Award, was selected as one of the top 5 Air National Guard Wings in the country and had one member selected as one of the top 12 Airmen in the Air National Guard (out of over 106,000 members). “These awards show the true character of the Wing,” said Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General for the State of Indiana. “This Wing is about values, patriotism and always putting your best foot forward! Even in conversion while surrounded by future uncertainty, the 122nd always strives for excellence in everything they do,” he said.
If you would like to visit the 122nd Fighter Wing, place the upcoming air show on your calendars. It will take place September 1-2, 2012. “This will be the first air show in over 13 years the base will host for the community,” said Capt. Rebecca Metzger, 122nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer. “This will, without a doubt, be the thrill of a lifetime for many.”
Source: Indiana Air National Guard