Tanker Reverberations: Reaction varied on Capitol Hill after Monday's news that Northrop Grumman was exiting the Air Force KC-X tanker competition. (See below, Opting Out) The mood was dark out of Alabama, where Northrop and its partner EADS North America would have built their tankers. Sen. Richard Shelby (R) said, "The Air Force blew it," claiming the competition had been set up unfairly, while his colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) opined that it was "truly a dark day" for the Pentagon. Conversely, in Washington and Kansas, where Boeing would assemble its tankers, the sentiment was upbeat. For example, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) called it a "great day" for warfighters. Here's a sampling:
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) statementRep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) statementRep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) statement
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) statementSen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) statementSen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) statementSen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) statementSen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) statementSen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) statement
Memorial Day is a time to remember all those who died fighting for their country, just like A1C William Pitsenbarger, an Air Force pararescueman who took part in more than 250 rescue missions before he was killed at the age of 21. His selflessness and valor in the Vietnam War earned him an Air Force Cross and, eventually, a Medal of Honor.
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