Under Scrutiny Again:

According to a report by Andrea Shalal-Esa of Reuters news service, the Pentagon inspector general is investigating whether the Air Force has made “inappropriate” moves in its discussions with Boeing about potentially increasing the purchase of new C-17 airlifters. This latest review apparently is at the behest of Sen. John McCain, who requested a formal IG investigation in a September letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. McCain had joined two other Senators earlier this year in questioning whether USAF had unduly influenced Boeing’s decision to use its own funds to extend the C-17 production line. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne responded to their questions, saying the service was making “preliminary” inquiries only and would follow established acquisition rules. Included in the 2008 defense authorization bill, awaiting passage by the Senate, is a call for a “thorough review” of what is being called the Air Force’s 30/30 plan relative to the mix of C-17 and C-5 airlifters.