WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) issued the following statement after the Iowa Congressional Delegation met with Michael Donley, Secretary of the Air Force, Major General Etter, Deputy Director of the Air National Guard and Major General Bolton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget. Today’s meeting in the U.S. Capitol was held to discuss the proposed decommissioning of the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines.
“I left today’s meeting with more questions about the future of the Air National Guard than when I first entered the room. We have to take a hard look at the proper balance between the active force and that of the guard and reserve. I have not been given the data that tells me the Air Force has done that. And though the proposal to decommission the 132nd’s F16s is not final, the Air Force still cannot provide an adequate explanation for targeting Des Moines, the cost-effectiveness of decommissioning this unit, or the impact it will have on the local community. These are answers that must not only be provided to the Congressional delegation, but to all Iowans in this community.
“The 132nd is among the best in the country and we will do everything in our power to keep them flying.”