What to Expect

Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford, top uniformed officer in USAF’s acquisition shop, said Tuesday the service has proceeded “right down the middle” in formulating the final version of the KC-X tanker solicitation so that the document is not unfairly biased toward either prospective bidder—Boeing or Northrop Grumman. He told attendees at an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force Breakfast Series presentation in Arlington, Va., that the document is “about ready” to hit the streets. (In fact, it’s expected any day now.) “We have talked with both competitors,” Shackelford told reporters after his talk. He continued, “And to the extent that we could pay attention to their concerns and not just blindly walk into giving one or the other a competitive advantage by the change, we were willing to make adjustments in the RFP.” But if a change was seen as clearly advantaging one side, “we stayed away from that,” he explained.