The Government Accountability Office has disclosed why it sided, in part, with Alabama Aircraft Industries (formerly Pemco) in the company’s September 2007 protest of the Air Force’s $1 billion contract award to Boeing for KC-135 depot maintenance. “The record does not reflect any Air Force analysis as to the realism of certain changes Boeing introduced in its final proposals, or the potential risk associated with those changes; the solicitation required such analysis,” writes Michael Golden, GAO’s managing associate general counsel. Because GAO believes these shortcomings affected USAF’s evaluation of cost/price, it has recommended that the service go back and perform “the required realism and risk analysis” in this area. Golden also notes that GAO decided not to rule on AAII’s allegations of bias with regard to now-deceased Charles Riechers, the No. 2 civilian acquisition official who was the source selection authority, since there is an ongoing law-enforcement investigation into the cause of his death last fall. Riechers’s death was an apparent suicide; it came after a Washington Post article questioned the employment arrangement he had with a nonprofit while he awaited Senate approval to start his Air Force job. “It is our understanding that this investigation will encompass matters that may have a bearing on Pemco’s allegations of bias,” writes Golden.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.