14 April 2010

Military Leaders Press Obama to Act On Defense Contract

/PRNewswire/ -- Twelve members of the National Defense Trust (NDT) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern over the ongoing delays and political maneuvering preventing the Air Force from awarding the contract to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers. The letter was signed by retired military officers, leaders of think tanks focusing on national defense, and a former US Senator. A copy of the letter was sent to every Member of Congress.

The current fleet of refueling tankers is five decades old and have been in service since the Korean War. Efforts to build new planes that support military aircraft has been ongoing for nearly a decade and the contracts have been canceled due to controversy and scandal.

The latest Request for Proposal was released several months ago with one of the bidders, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), withdrawing from the competition. However, after pressure from EADS and the government of France, the Pentagon extended the deadline for two months.

The National Defense Trust's members believe it is critical that the delays, particularly those that are politically motivated, cease, allowing the military to focus on procuring the planes needed for a strong national defense. As a result of the most recent delay in the process, NDT members have sent this letter to Commander in Chief Obama and Members of Congress. The letter reads in part:

Delays often beget delays. Our war fighters deserve new tankers delivered as quickly as possible, and we see no valid reason to postpone the tanker acquisition process any longer. We urge you to resist further efforts to stall the long-overdue process of procuring and building the next fleet of refueling tankers our men and women in uniform need and deserve.

The National Defense Trust is a coalition of Americans dedicated to a robust defense of the United States and our allies.

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