Murray Praises Air Force Intention to Proceed with Boeing 767 Tanker Lease

Jul 11 2003

Senator says report, “Validates our arguments and starts the clock on Congressional review.”

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Air Force Secretary James Roche informed the Congress that the Air Force intends to lease 100 Boeing 767 aircraft to begin to recapitalize the air refueling tanker fleet. The Air Force is required to provide a report and at least 30 calendar days notice prior to commencing the 767 tanker lease.

Senator Murray praised the Air Force tanker report provided to the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committee. The report details increased tanker dependence, escalating costs to maintain our current aging tanker fleet, and the strong fiscal case to proceed with the Boeing 767 lease.

“This report completely validates our arguments in favor of the tanker lease. The Air Force message to Capitol Hill is our men and women in uniform need new tankers as soon as possible,” Senator Murray said. We are in the homestretch now, and only the loud voices of a few critics are standing between the Air Force and much-needed new Boeing 767 tankers.”

It is anticipated that congressional hearings will be held in both the House and Senate prior to the August recess.

“I expect a few late attempts to sabotage the Boeing 767 tanker lease. A small number of critics have failed time after time to kill the tanker lease. Their efforts will fail again,” Senator Murray said. “The 767 lease is important to the Air Force, Washington state and the nation. It is going to happen.”