Senate Approves Bill Eliminating F-16s in Des Moines

Two F-16 fighter jets fly over Iowa State University central campus during the celebration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day on Friday, Sept.19, 2003, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Ames Tribune, Nirmalendu Majudmar)

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Senate has approved a $633 billion defense bill that will eliminate all F-16 jets based at the Des Moines Air National Guard Base.

The Des Moines Register reports the Senate approved the bill Friday by an 84 to 14 vote. Both of Iowa's senators voted no. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill.

Iowa's congressional delegation worked for months to keep the jets in Des Moines and retain jobs at the base, but they couldn't stop the move backed by the Defense Department.

It's unclear when the 21 F-16s will be moved from Des Moines as the 132nd Fighter Wing is replaced by a unit that will fly unmanned aircraft based elsewhere.

About 32 positions at the Des Moines base are expected to be eliminated.

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