Governor Chris Gregoire statement on rebidding of refueling tanker contract - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Governor Chris Gregoire statement on rebidding of refueling tanker contract

SEATTLE, Wash. - Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced Wednesday that the Undersecretary of Defense will oversee an expedited recompetition for new air refueling tankers.

Washington Congressman Norm Dicks confirmed the news Wednesday morning, saying the competition will be an accelerated recompetition.  The Department of Defense - not the Air Force - will oversee the new competition.

Governor Chris Gregoire released the following statement Wednesday:

"Today's announcement by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is good news for Washington state, Boeing, its workers and the nation. The Department of Defense will rebid the tanker contract using the same criteria for both bidders. I believe Boeing should have been awarded the contract all along based on the Air Force's criteria, and I believe the tanker contract should have been awarded to Boeing today.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office all but confirmed what was suspected from day one - that the Air Force made a mistake when it decided to give away thousands of American jobs and sensitive military technology to a foreign country.

The GAO report must be taken very seriously. The Department of Defense must conduct a fair and proper process in close consultation with Congress. Specifically, there should be a thorough review of the 40-year lifecycle costs for the Airbus 380 and Boeing 767, including fuel, maintenance and personnel costs, and the expense of retrofitting runways and hangars. I believe that if these and other factors are considered as they should have been from the start, Boeing will succeed in winning the tanker contract because it's the best, most efficient and cost-effective bid.

I thank the members of our state's congressional delegation for their leadership on this matter. They have been tenacious in taking on the Air Force and pressing for transparency throughout this process."

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