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Boeing mechanic Scott Galley is keeping his fingers crossed that his employer will win the U.S. Air Force competition to build a new generation of aerial refueling aircraft.
Galley, who works on the 767 airframe that Boeing's NewGen Tanker bid is based on, said it would be an honor to provide such an important asset to America's warfighters.
"I'd love to make the tanker," Galley said. "This will be my way of contributing to the defense of our country."
Chris Bannister, who has worked on the 767 for 22 years, said Boeing is well-prepared to provide tankers to the Air Force. The company has more than six decades of experience building and maintaining military tankers derived from commercial airframes. The NewGen Tanker incorporates a host of advanced technologies into a 767.
"It is important because it will help keep the United States free. It is important because it will save the lives of U.S. service men and women."
"The factory and our team are ready," Bannister said. "We've worked on other tanker models before and we know how to do derivatives."
Galley and Bannister were among hundreds of Boeing workers, suppliers and local elected officials who attended a NewGen Tanker rally Sept. 27 at the Boeing airplane factory in Everett, Wash. The event was the latest in a series of rallies held across the United States this summer and fall to emphasize three key points about the Boeing proposal: combat-ready on day one, lowest total cost, and American-made.
"This is not just another program to Boeing," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, who hosted the rally. "It is important because it will help keep the United States free. It is important because it will save the lives of U.S. service men and women."
Joining him on the stage were Washington state elected officials U.S. Sen. Patty Murray; U.S. Reps. Norm Dicks, Jim McDermott, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen and Dave Reichert; and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson.
"You are reminding everyone that you have delivered for the men and women in uniform and you are ready to do it again," Murray told the crowd.
Boeing submitted its bid to the Air Force in July. A winner is to be announced this fall.
Updates on the tanker competition are posted on Boeing's tanker websites, http://www.unitedstatestanker.com/ and www.realamericantankers.com.