U.S. Air Force Tells Courtney It Will Cancel $24 Million Sole Source Contract for Air Force One Refrigerators
(Washington, DC) —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces released a letter his office has received from the Secretary of U.S. Air Force, Heather Wilson, responding to his request for more information on a $24 million sole source contract to supply refrigerators for the existing Air Force One aircraft (known as the VC-25A). The letter confirms that the Air Force is canceling the contract and will review more affordable options.
“Clearly, the Air Force is making the right decision to cancel the previously announced sole-source contract and hit restart on this process. Even with the understanding that the Air Force One mission brings with it unique requirements and challenges, a $24 million sole-source contract just didn’t pass the smell test,” said Courtney. “That is why the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee mark to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a provision which would limit these needlessly expensive modifications from being made in the future. I commend the Air Force for reversing this decision and look forward to working with them to ensure the next-generation Air Force One program stays on schedule.”
Secretary Wilson wrote to Courtney, saying, “The Air Force, working with the White House Military Office, recently reviewed the investment for the VC-25A chiller replacement and jointly decided to terminate the effort. While the VC-25A chiller replacement requirement still exists, the progress on the VC-25B program weighed against the cost of the chiller effort makes termination the most prudent fiscal sense for the government. If the VC-25B program is delayed, the Air Force and White House Military Office will need to relook at this effort. While not optimal, mitigation options exist to ensure food security until new aircraft are delivered. The Air Force has notified Boeing of the government's intention to cancel the subject contract.”