A ceremony was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to celebrate the arrival of the F-16 Fighting Falcon jets as part of the Indiana National Guard’s modernization plan.
Airmen from the 122nd Fighter Wing proudly displayed the F-16 during the event.
This transition marks a significant shift for the 122nd Fighter Wing, which has been operating the A-10 Thunderbolt II. The move to the F-16 is seen as a strategic response to the evolving global security landscape and the need for more advanced capabilities.
Two of the 21 F-16 jets have already arrived, and officials anticipate the entire fleet to be stationed in Fort Wayne by Christmas 2025. The decision to replace the A-10s with the F-16s was motivated by the changing nature of warfare, with increasing concerns about potential adversaries in the Pacific and Europe.
Colonel Joshua Waggoner emphasized the importance of the transition, saying, “The A-10s were very effective in a war where we didn’t have to worry about the bad guys shooting back. But that time has come and gone, and now we need a fighter that is more capable of countering our adversaries in the Pacific and Europe. The F-16 will allow us to do that successfully to complete the mission and then to come home safely.”
The F-16s are expected to remain in service until 2040, making this transition a forward-looking step in enhancing the capabilities of the Hoosier National Guard.