Pin Down on Tanker Deal

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) elicited a promise from Pentagon weapons buyer nominee Ashton Carter that he would “serve up the best acquisition strategy as honestly as I possibly can” if he gets the job and thus must supervise the re-bid for the KC-X tanker program. During the Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing March 26, Sessions asked whether Carter would include “best value” in his consideration of the Boeing and Northrop Grumman tankers and not, as he had heard, base the decision “purely on price.” Carter replied: I would use exactly the traditional process of best value in this case and attach the weights to the various parameters that go into best value, of which price is one—and call it like I see it.”