Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement concerning the Air Force’s draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the aerial refueling tanker:

“I am pleased to see that the Department of Defense and the Air Force appear to have made positive adjustments to their draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the aerial refueling tanker. The updated RFP for a new fleet of tankers will be released tomorrow. From my initial review, the new RFP seems to address a number of concerns raised in the last round of bidding, and will factor in the costs to operate, maintain, and base the aircraft over its service life. The new RFP also seems to more clearly lay out the overall criteria being used in the selection process and should help clarify the bidding process.

“In the coming days, I will review in much greater detail the new guidelines set forth in the tanker RFP to ensure they create a fair and transparent procurement process.  As the Air Force moves forward, I will follow the process closely to ensure all proposals are evaluated on equal merit. Any contract awarded must provide the best product to support our men and women in uniform in the most cost effective way possible.

“I hope that the new RFP will lead to an equitable and open tanker competition and ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.”