FIGHTER JETS: Bill Signed Into Law

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The 132nd Fighter Wing’s F-16 squadron has had its funding cut with the signing, by President Obama, of the $633-billion defense spending bill into law Thursday.

The bill calls for the retirement of the F-16s flown by the Air National Guard unit based at the Des Moines airport.

Iowa’s full congressional delegation fought to save the fighter jets but late last month the funding was cut by a House and Senate conference committee.

Senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin voted against the bill.

The cuts could mean the loss of up to 400 jobs in the Des Moines area. The number could be fewer if the F-16s are replaced, as expected, by a Des Moines unit of remotely flying unmanned aircraft.

Guard officials say they haven’t received word from the Department of Defense yet and are not commenting at this time.

F-16 jets have been based in Des Moines since 1992 and were due to be slated for retirement between 2018 and 2020.