Lawmakers seek to prohibit closure of Air National Guard fighter squadrons

By Shelley K. Mesch / May 17, 2023 at 4:15 PM

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking to prevent the Air National Guard from closing any fighter squadrons.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) has authored a bill with Reps. Jason Crow (D-CO), John James (R-MI), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) that would require the Air Force to maintain 25 Air Guard squadrons.

The bill, which would be called the Fighter Force Preservation and Recapitalization Act, would ensure Air National Guard fighter squadrons “continue to support the Total Force as the Air Force undertakes a massive modernization and recapitalization effort,” a media release from Bacon’s office states.

“The Air National Guard represents 30 percent of the Air Force fighter force and is responsible for 94 percent of homeland defense missions,” the release states. “On average, the pilots and maintainers are twice as experienced as their active duty counterparts. The Air Force must retain these valuable service members as it seeks to divest legacy equipment predominately found in the Air National Guard.”