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And, They're Off: Pentagon officials did begin briefing lawmakers this morning (Sept. 24) about the new draft request for proposals for the KC-X tanker replacement program and had scheduled a press briefing at the Pentagon for 4 p.m. Quick off the mark, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense panel, released a statement praising the Air Force for its latest process which he said "appears to be both open and less subjective." However, Murtha also emphasized that his committee "believes that it is in the best interest of the taxpayer to build 36 aircraft per year, versus the 15 per year as planned by the latest proposal." Murtha points out, too, that the House version of the 2010 defense spending bill provides "the option for choosing one vendor or dual sourcing." Stay tuned.