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And From Alabama: As the release date approaches for the final request for proposals in the KC-X tanker competition (see above, KC-X RFP Target is Feb. 23), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has partially released the hold he put on White House nominees, now only holding back a few that reportedly have some bearing on the tanker program. According to a Shelby spokesman, the Senator has gotten the attention of the Obama Administration but will retain the remaining holds until after the KC-X RFP goes out. Shelby, who supports Northrop Grumman-EADS in the tanker competition, wants to ensure an open and fair process, said his spokesman. Those nominees still on hold include Erin Conaton for Air Force undersecretary; Terry Yonkers for assistant Air Force secretary, Installations, Environment, and Logistics; and Frank Kendall for principle deputy defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics. (Also read CongressDaily report; The New York Times report)