Boeing, The Military Contract, A Continueing Saga

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE Lou Dobbs! He covers issues a lot of news media just won’t handle or else they just give you the sound bites every OTHER news carrier has. Not Lou Dobbs though! I watch him every night if I can, unless he is covering the candidates. I’ve just about had a gut full of them.

Anyway, I was listening to his show and they started to talk about Boeing again and the Military. You can read the full transcript HERE: One of his listeners had the most brilliant idea I’ve heard in a long time. It was good old-fashioned USA ingenuity!

DOBBS: He’s following the law to the letter, is he? Well let me just if I may share with you, and with you, just wait there for a second, this from a viewer in California who wrote in with what I think is a powerful, compelling suggestion for the United States Air Force tanker deal.

This isn’t going to please Northrop Grumman. It’s not going to please Boeing air craft, but it just may please taxpayers. It just might please your sense of fair play, your sense of innovation, American know how and inventiveness.

A fellow by the name of Ralph Ricks (ph) is an aviation buff and wrote in to suggest to me that the U.S. Air Force instead of all this, buy used Boeing 767s and McDonnell Douglas DC-10s with thousands of hours left on their air frames and engines and convert them into tankers, which he believes could be done for a pittance by comparison to the $35 to $40 billion that is at play in this deal.

How brilliant is that? Mr. Ricks is a genius! I hope you don’t mind I posted your idea here. If you do, I’ll certainly remove it. Since I don’t know your email addy and the Lou Dobbs show didn’t post it, I can’t ask you personally. Just let me know if you come across this blog! But I certainly thank you for the great idea. I hope the military will take advantage of it! By the way, did you send your idea to them directly?

Earlier in the broadcast the guy from the military said he was highly concerned about the US economy and didn’t think we could support a contract as big as the one given to EADS/Northrup Grumman. Can you believe that shit? How they have the B***s to say things like that on the air is beyond me. This guy should be fired. Read on:

Christine Romans has our report.

ROMANS (voice-over): A standing ovation for the men and women of the Air Force. But tough questions for Air Force brass, who hired European company EADS to build 179 aerial refueling tankers. Why would the Air Force spend $35 billion in taxpayer dollars to a company being sued by the U.S. government for unfair trade subsidies?

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: We have a contract going to a company that we do as a country have a case against because of those illegal subsidies.

MICHAEL WYNNE, AIR FORCE SECRETARY: We believe we accurately followed the laws and arrived at a decision selecting the better of two very qualified competitors.

ROMANS: The Air Force chose a tanker based on the Airbus A330, much of it to be built overseas, then assembled in Atlanta. The mid-sized Boeing offering based on a 757 was rejected. Boeing says 85 percent of its claim would be American made. Boeing and some lawmakers contend the larger Airbus tanker would require larger hangars and longer runways.

MARK MCGRAW, BOEING AERIAL TANKER PROGRAM: The fuel used, the repair cost, the impact on the Air Force’s infrastructure — think hangars now, was much less on our product. That was going to save the Air Force and the U.S taxpayer billions of dollars.

ROMANS: Northrop Grumman is EADS American partner and says 48,000 American jobs will be created by the tanker deal and called concerns about outsourcing hype and misinformation.

PAUL MEYER, NORTHROP GRUMMAN: This will provide a significant boom in the southeast. We have 230 suppliers, all U.S. based. So we’re not sure the hype of losing 40-plus thousand jobs that don’t even exist today in the Boeing camp, much less on ours.

ROMANS: As for the Air Force, officials again and again said the contract was awarded legally. But Senator Patty Murray of Washington questioned whether complicated procurement and trade laws were undermining American economic and national security. When pressed, the Air Force secretary admitted concern about the fragile manufacturing base in this country.

MURRAY: I’m asking if you think the current procurement process reflects the needs of the defense, of our defense?

WYNNE: I think right now I worry about the industrial base of the future. I think we started losing our industrial base in 1990 and I think our market doesn’t support a large industrial base right now.

Oh really? And could that be because Congress and the Presidents have done everything they could to send away American jobs? Between illegal immigration driving wages down and outsourcing American jobs, seems to me there is a reason for this problem. And it can be reversed, but it has to start SOMEWHERE!

Also, if we can handle supplying EADS with parts, how come we can’t accomplish what the Air Force needs? I’m tired of hear about outsourcing, our borders, our military, our jobs. Give us back what you stole from us Washington or feel the wrath of the American People, WE the PEOPLE!

Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s

Sen. Patty Murray’s

Let’s rock the capitol with our voices and let them know how we feel on this and other issues! And Lou? Keep up the great work! We are listening!


~ by justmytruth on March 13, 2008.

8 Responses to “Boeing, The Military Contract, A Continueing Saga”

  1. Now see, I’d expect someone from Daimler Benz Aerospace Airbus to say this. If you are wondering how I know where you were when you wrote this it is the IP addy attached to the comment. Anyone can look that up if they care to. I do…

    So it figures that you would have a stake in making a comment like this and voting FOR the A330. It isn’t the best aircraft for the money, for the Air Force or for American troops. But busy bodies from other countries are allowed to have their say, even if they are biased and all for giving away America jobs and infrastructure. What benefits EADS benefits you, no?

  2. I’m confused. Does the USAF need a new tanker? If yes, does the USAF and the citizens of the USA want the best tanker for the job?
    If yes, who cares where it is built, who builds it, where the parts come from and how much it might cost to change the infrastructure (hangars and runways)? I am not making any judgment on the assumptions made by people. My point is, if you truly want the best, then all these other points are not pertinent. Anybody claiming otherwise is a hypocrite. One other question, who would design and carry out the mods on these old 767s and DC10s? Air Force? Boeing? Mr. Ricks and his fellow aviation buffs? Retrofitting is not a cheap and cost effective manner to build a modern refueling tanker. Not a bad try though. Personally I would like to cut through all the hyperbole. I believe that the A330 based tanker will be a better tanker. Newer technology (including modern fly by wire flight controls, not cables and pulleys, something most people do not know or recognize)and a larger airframe that allows greater utitility. I do not think it is far better than the 767 based tanker, but merely better. I also do believe it will be more expensive. How much more is very much open to speculation. But as I previously stated, do you want the best or the cheapest, or the best for the economy but not the best for the military? People should be honest with there statements. Every one of these politicians (Murray, Dicks , Riley etc) are not interested in the best tanker for the militars. They care about there constituents. That is there job. The public on the other hand, should be more objective, or at least be more honest with themselves.

  3. Thanks Ken,

    I’m working on it. I appreciate all you have pointed me to. Thanks for sharing this information. I’ve come across some very interesting links related to this project and EADS/Northrup Grummun

  4. This memo to Airbus staff as mentioned in the article may have been the source and would explain why there are no links, and why my friend could not send me a copy.

  5. Thanks Ken,

    I also tried their website and found the same problem with access. Perhaps we can find a journalist who will look into this? I do appreciate your efforts here.

    Thank you!

  6. A friend of mine in Europe sent me a copy and pasted excerpt because the link would not work, he recalls it was March 5th or 6th and was from a conference he thinks was being held in Belgrade. I’m still attempting to find a record of Gallois’ speeches on the Airbus website but you need press credentials to obtain them. He can’t recall the name of the publication but it was French.

  7. Wow, that’s pretty incredible. Where did you get this from? You say Louis Gallois gave a speech? Where and when? Can you supply a link?

  8. A translated extract from a speech given by Louis Gallois head of Airbus given to a Aviation conference in Europe shortly after the contract was announced, sorry for the clumsy translation, my French is not as good as it should be.

    You’ll note that there is no mention of Northrop Grumman, and that the entire Aircraft will be built in Europe. So the question arises, what exactly is being built in the U.S. and by who?


    “The American factory does it need to Airbus to offset the impact of the weak dollar?

    We do not have this plant in the United States because of the weak dollar. It will help us a bit but the assembly is only between 6 and 7% of the added value of an airplane. But this site is part of the vision 2020, our strategic plan, which provides that the deadline we are present in the United States in defence. This is a major step.

    This contract will it have a negative impact on the activity of European factories as employees fear?

    Quite the opposite! I say that we take European labour for up to the United States. This is not that. We build an assembly line but all parts of the aircraft will be produced in Europe wings to Filton, England, the central section in Saint-Nazaire and the nose at Méaulte in France, the fuselage in Nordenham Germany, the tail of the aircraft in Spain. The 179 aircraft that we are delivering to the United States Air Force are on the contrary a remarkable support to the ramp up of the A 330. This is an additional workload for European factories.

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