“We’re close” to launching a new tanker competition, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters Monday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. He said the new draft for proposals would be out “in a couple of weeks,” with the announcement coming not from Donley but from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who will also explain the rules of the new contest. And, Donley said he sees nothing in the recent World Trade Organization ruling that would alter the course of the tanker contest. “We see no immediate impact,” he said, since there are still “months” of process and potential appeals remaining to play out over the WTO ruling.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.