The Pentagon announced today that it will rebid the controversial Air Force refueling tanker contract, with a decision coming before the end of the year. Notice how I wrote that the “Pentagon” will rebid the contract, not the “Air Force”:
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday that his office — not the Air Force — will oversee the competition between Boeing and the team of Northrop and Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co.
The plan, which hands control to the Pentagon acquisition chief John Young and sets up a dedicated source-selection committee, shows that senior civilians at the Defense Department have lost confidence in the Air Force’s ability to manage the contract.
“I think it’s better,” said Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash. “No one has any faith in the Air Force.
So to all those of you who vehemently defended the Airbus contract (you know who you are, Sen. McCain), don’t you feel a little foolish right about now?
It should also be noted that Sec. Gates has ties to our region, owning a vacation home on Orcas Island, and formerly serving on the board of directors of Bellevue based Vote Here Inc., and while I don’t really expect him to show Boeing an favoritism, his local connections couldn’t hurt.