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Monday, April 19, 2010

Sessions reacts to another lawmakers remards on tanker contract

Just got this from Sen. Sessions' office:

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made the following statement today regarding comments made by U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) regarding the Air Force Tanker Recapitalization Program:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Norm Dicks, would publically engage in political intimidation to restrict competition on any contract, much less one that would directly affect the men and women in our Armed Services.

“Chairman Dicks said last week that he hoped U.S. companies would not partner with European-based EADS to compete for the Air Force’s refueling tanker contract. By this admission, Chairman Dicks is attempting to restrict competition—a competition mandated by Congress—on the second-largest defense contract in the history of the United States to the sole benefit of one company. I believe that many Americans view this as brazenly inappropriate behavior.

“If Chairman Dicks is successful in politically intimidating contractors from partnering with EADS, there could be two negative impacts. First, taxpayers may be forced to pay more for a new aircraft than is warranted, and second, the aircraft’s value and capability to the war fighter will likely decrease, rather than increase as it would through a competitive procurement process.

“Defense companies should understand that, contrary to Representative Dick’s comments, the majority of members in the House and Senate want a robust competition engineered not to benefit a single company, but to produce the best airplane for the war fighter.

“I encourage U.S. companies to consider partnering with EADS, which was part of the team originally selected by the Air Force to build this airplane. Chairman Dicks should know that the men and women of our Armed Services deserve the transformational aircraft that the Air Force has repeatedly said it needs to support military operations around the world. The company that can build that aircraft should win the competition, free from political interference.”

“I intend to raise these troubling comments with senior Department of Defense officials when I meet with them at the Pentagon this week. I would hope that the Secretary of Defense would condemn statements of this nature, which only serve to politicize and corrupt this competitive process.”


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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 

As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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