Posts tagged: Air Force tankers
OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire led a group of seven governors Thursday patting The Boeing Co. on the back for joining the competition over the new Air Force tanker.
Not that there’s any surprise that Boeing would get into the competition. After all, it has been trying to get the Air Force to buy or lease new tankers from it since 2001, and basically drove a stake through the heart of the Air Force’s plan to give the bid to Northrop Grumman/EADS back in 2008 over changes in the bidding rules. Not cmpeting this time would have lots of people wondering what the heck was all the fuss about two years ago.
Boeing said it will propose a tanker version of its 767 design, which is the same airframe it has been talking about using since 2001.
Northrop Grumman/EADS (what some Northwest politicians like to call the Airbus group) has not yet announced it will enter the competition with the new specs that were released earlier this week.
Also Thursday, a group calling itself “Build Them Both” is asking governors around the country to write President Obama with a request that the Pentagon build both models as a create the jobs, help the economy measure. It released letters from governors in Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio and West Virginia suggesting just that. Curiously enough, none of those governors are among the ones that joined Gregoire in saying, essential “Go Boeing.”
OK, so it’s not THAT curious. Most of the Boeing-ers have that company’s operations or subs in their region.
So will Gregoire sign on to the Build Them Both campaign?
Answer inside the blog
Sen. Patty Murray will be asking questions of Air Force honchos about that pesky tanker replacement contract they have thus far been unable to run to ground.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norman Schwartz will appear before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that controls their budget, and the Washington Democrat will take that opportunity to ask some of her favorite questions about replacement tankers, staff said.
Among them: Shouldn’t U.S. money for U.S. war planes go to U.S. companies when the U.S. is in the middle of a recession? And, where exactly are you going to put the first new planes that roll off the assembly line…a base that starts with “F” and ends with ”-airchild”?
Whether she’ll get definitive answers from Donley, Schwarts and company remains to be seen. Hearing starts at 7:30 a.m. Pacific, but is watchable on the subcommittee’s Web site.