Senators Call for No KC-X Protests

Speaking for the dozen members of the bipartisan Senate Tanker Caucus, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D), the caucus founder and co-chair, minced no words yesterday in calling on Boeing and Northrop Grumman/EADS to honor the Air Force’s forthcoming decision in the KC-X tanker recapitalization contest and refrain from filing a protest if their respective KC-767 and KC-30 designs do not prevail. “We are trying to send a clear message that the caucus believes that whatever decision is made here … ought to be respected, it ought to go forward, and the Air Force needs to get about the business of getting online the next-generation tanker,” Conrad said Feb. 14 (see above). “We strongly encourage both bidders to respect the Air Force decision as final,” Conrad continued. “It is essential that we move forward quickly and we have no further delay. It would be very unfortunate for the security posture of this country to see additional delay.” Conrad and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), caucus co-chair, hosted the event. Both senators said they had the utmost confidence that the Air Force’s pending decision, which could come by the end of the month, will be sound.