FIGHTER JETS: Not Going Down Without A Fight

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Congressman Tom Latham won’t let the Des Moines F-16’s go without a fight.

The House and Senate have been negotiating a defense spending bill that calls for the Department of Defense to retire the 21 F-16’s at the 132nd airbase in Des Moines.

Iowa’s entire congressional delegation is against the legislation, but when it looked like the bill would pass through the House and Senate, Congressman Latham introduced a new bill to save the jets.

It would require a cost-benefit analysis to be performed before the cuts could take effect.

Latham says the 132nd Fighter Squadron is made up of more experienced pilots than regular Air Force units and is more cost effective to maintain.

He says his fellow congressmen erred in cutting funding, and he’s calling on President Obama to step up and help Iowans.

Latham released a statement Thursday saying, “Iowa helped launch the President`s national ambitions four years ago and played a key role this November in extending his tenure.  His extensive knowledge of our state and our economy from his many visits should make the case very clear that he must halt his administration`s flawed plan and support Iowa jobs and national security.”

Approximately 32 jobs could be cut in Des Moines if the 132nd’s fighter jets are retired.

Iowa’s full congressional delegation is backing Latham’s plan.