(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks said today that the Air Force has finally acquiesced to their repeated requests to provide an explanation for the stunning selection of Airbus to produce the nation's next generation of aerial refueling tankers last week.  Though Air Force officials announced on Feb. 29th that they considered the Airbus tanker proposal superior to the Boeing 767 tankers, they provided little supportive information and said they would not provide a full debriefing to Boeing representatives until March 12th.  

"Our constituents and people all across America deserve to know the Pentagon's justification for outsourcing the second largest defense contract ever awarded to an entity that our government has concluded is responsible for unfair trade practices that have stolen jobs from U.S. aerospace workers," Murray and Dicks said.   We are encouraged that the debriefing will take place sooner -- on March 6th -- in order to allow Boeing representatives to learn the criteria for the Pentagon's unusual decision and to determine whether it has grounds for a protest of the contract award."  

In statements to both Boeing and the press, the Air Force had refused to debrief Boeing until March 12th.  Murray and Dicks have called for immediate answers to the Air Force’s decision to award a $40 billion contract to the European company Airbus.