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Senate Armed Services Committee Should Reject Air Force Tanker Lease

August 29, 2003 


A proposal to lease 100 Boeing 767 tanker aircraft is a gift to a defense contractor at the expense of the taxpayers, Danielle Brian, POGO's Executive Director wrote to the Senate Committee on Armed Services in a letter sent today.

"The Air Force and some members of Congress are rushing the proposal at the expense of the taxpayers," Brian said. "We hope your committee will see through the Air Force's hollow plea for new tankers and rebuff a sustained corporate welfare campaign." (click here to view Air Force lease proposal)

The Armed Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on the tanker lease issue for 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 4, 2003. In her letter (click here to view letter), Brian encouraged the panel to reject the lease as unneeded and overpriced. In a preliminary report earlier this year, the General Accounting Office said that a renovated tanker fleet could perform until 2040.

"Simply put, Air Force leaders never said they even needed the tankers until they woke up one morning and saw a pile of money on the table," Brian wrote. "All of a sudden, they say the KC-135 tanker fleet is plagued with corrosion problems, and have even suggested that the current fleet of tankers is unsafe - even though the KC-135 mishap rate is lower than many Air Force aircraft."

Also, on Wednesday, September 3, 2003, POGO Senior Defense Investigator Eric Miller will testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about the tanker lease proposal. The full committee hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in room SR-253. 

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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