Ripple Effect:

The Air Force still is evaluating efforts to modernize C-5 airlifters, which if successful, officials say could offset a reduced buy of C-17s. However, Boeing has not developed formal estimates of what it would cost to reconstitute the C-17 line if the C-5 program doesn’t work out, but Dan Page, Boeing’s director of airlift business development, said it would be “in the billions.” The effects of shutting down the C-17 line would be felt within less than a month, since some companies do only C-17 work and could go out of business. After a few months, the workforce would disperse, and Page said that getting qualified workers back and certified would be a lengthy and expensive process. Some 25,000 people are employed by the program, with economic ripple effects of $8.4 billion.