Never Say Die

A host of lawmakers from both parties and a variety of states have not given up the fight to get the Pentagon to purchase additional C-17s—at least enough to keep the Boeing production line open beyond 2009. Boeing last week notified subcontractors to stop work. Despite that, action continues, certainly in Missouri, which stands to lose some 2,000 jobs. Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), a vocal proponent, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he plans to keep pressing for additional domestic or foreign purchases of small numbers of the new airlifter, expecting that to carry the line until Boeing secures a larger order. Missouri’s other senator, Republican Christopher Bond, and Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R) are working the White House route. Apart from putting seven additional C-17s on its 2007 unfunded priority list to cover accelerated war usage, the Air Force has stood fast on the 180 airlifters cited by the Mobility Capabilities Study. However, lawmakers—and reportedly the Army—have questioned the validity of the MCS.