A military news website is reporting an Iowa Air National Guard unit with 1,000 personnel is on a list of potential cuts in the latest budget for the U.S. Air Force. Iowa National Guard spokesman Colonel Greg Hapgood has seen the report from Military.com, but says nothing is confirmed.
“At this point, the only official information that the Iowa National Guard has received from the Department of Defense regarding any reductions is that there could be National Guard units affected…particularly in the Air National Guard,” Hapgood said. “Other than that, we have not received any information of a specific nature, whatsoever, regarding Iowa.”
The 132nd Fighter Squadron, based at the Des Moines Airport, may be decommissioned, according to the report. Hapgood calls the squadron a “relatively robust” operation. The 132nd is comprised of 20 F-16 fighter jets and 1,000 personnel. The squadron’s annual budget is roughly $50 million, which includes a $35 million payroll.
Hapgood expects more specific information on the future of the Iowa Air Guard unit later this month. “It is expected President Obama will present his budget to congress on February 13 and we feel there’s probably enough specificity in that budget that we can figure out exactly what it means for our organization,” Hapgood said.
Around 130 members of the 132nd Fighter Squadron are currently deployed in Afghanistan.