Jul 24 2008

The Misinformation Campaign Continues

Shelby, Sessions, Bonner and Davis Respond to Boeing PR Spin

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), U.S. Representative Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and U.S. Representative Artur Davis (D-Ala.) today released a statement in response to a Boeing Company advertisement regarding the competition for the new U.S. Air Force tanker. 

Full text of the statement is below:

“We continue to be disappointed with Boeing’s tanker rhetoric and are writing to set the record straight.  Misinformation has been contained in two recent ads by Boeing in an effort to overturn the selection of the Northrop Grumman KC-45 which the Air Force determined to be the best tanker for the warfighter.

“Today, Boeing is running a two page ad that uses statements from the GAO report to assert that the GAO found the KC-767 to be the best tanker in the competition. This simply is not true.

“In fact, the GAO was crystal clear in its report.  While noting “errors in the conduct of the procurement,” the GAO report said, “this decision should not be read to reflect a view as to the merits of the firms’ respective aircraft.”

“Earlier this week, Boeing ran another ad showing a photo of two KC-767 tankers it delivered to Japan earlier this year.  Left unsaid in the ad was the fact that those tankers were delivered over a year late and are still not certified for use by Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force.

“This ad also omits the relevant fact its KC-767 tankers on order for the Italian Air Force have not been delivered and are now almost four years late.

“In fairness, the ad does mention the U.S. Air Force’s “unique specifications” acknowledging that Boeing has not built, flown or tested the tanker configuration it offered to our Air Force.  In fact, the tankers delivered to Japan fall short on several of the U.S. Air Force’s key requirements.

“The GAO finding of “errors in the conduct of the procurement” was sufficient for Defense Secretary Robert Gates to order a limited, expedited re-competition.  This re-competition should focus on achieving a rapid conclusion in order to put new tankers into the hands of our warfighters as soon as possible.

“Boeing’s misinformation campaign is not in the best interest of either our military or the taxpayer.  The nation’s second largest defense contractor should know better than to stoop so low in an effort to win a contract.”