Elected officials "We will be asking tough questions about the decision to outsource this contract. We look forward to hearing the Air Force's...

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Elected officials

“We will be asking tough questions about the decision to outsource this contract. We look forward to hearing the Air Force’s justification.”

— Statement issued by Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Reps. Norm Dicks, Rick Larsen, Jay Inslee, Adam Smith, Jim McDermott and Dave Reichert

“This is unfortunate news for Boeing and the state of Washington.”

— Gov. Christine Gregoire

“I’ve never seen anything excite the people of Mobile [Ala.] like this competition. We’re talking about billions of dollars over many years, so this is just a huge announcement.”

— Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

“To say this is a great day for Alabama is a monumental understatement. This will go down in history as one of our greatest days.”

— Gov. Bob Riley


“I am very disappointed for our members and all employees at The Boeing Company. I’m surprised the Air Force chose an unproven technology and an inferior product.”

— Cynthia Cole, president of Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA)

“I’m offended. I’m offended because these are our tax dollars.”

— Michael Cummins, who works on interior mechanics for planes including the 767 in Everett

“It’s like a slap in the face.”

— Steve Spyridis, 787 lead engineer for environmental-control systems and SPEEA council chair

“I just don’t think the government should have allowed this to happen. … We were counting on this.”

— Joel Hetland, who works on the 787 production line


“They don’t come along at this scale very often. We do see this as being a very important component of our business for many years to come.”

— Northrop Grumman Chairman and CEO Ronald Sugar

“Our next step is to request and receive a debrief from the Air Force. Once we have reviewed the details behind the award, we will make a decision concerning our possible options, keeping in mind at all times the impact to the warfighter and our nation.”

— Boeing statement


“This was definitely a surprise win. Northrop had a plane with more capability for cargo and fuel capacity. … The Air Force decided that was the direction they wanted to go in.”

— Peter Arment, with American Technology Research

“All those Christmas parties they paid for. That big Washington office. Really, really worth it.”

— Richard Aboulafia, with the Teal Group

Reader feedback

Posted on seattletimes.com Friday

“Disgusting, we are in a recession with an eroding middle class and the Pentagon plans to send our tax dollars to Europe.”

— VIC from Stanwood

“This thing happened for one reason: Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama. This guy has pulled off more economic development victories than anyone could have ever imagined.”

— KC-45A

“Why didn’t Boeing submit the 777 instead? The 777 outperforms the A330 in every category, except, I assume, in price. And I think I just answered my own question. I guess the better plane really did win.”

— John B from Seattle

Compiled by Seattle Times staff reporters Dominic Gates and Christina Siderius, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News