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Rep. Shaw Blackmon Urges Open Competition for Next Generation U.S. Air Force Tanker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Contact: Betsy Theroux

Thursday, January 19, 2023            (404) 656-3996

ATLANTA – State Representative Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) today issued the following statement urging the Georgia congressional delegation to take bipartisan action to allow an open, value-based competition for a next-generation aerial refueling tanker for the U.S. Air Force:

“Houston County continues to be the hub of Georgia’s support and operation of the aviation components of our national defense. While Lockheed Martin may be located north of us, getting this tanker program fairly competed and giving it a change to grow in our state would result in statewide impact. The more we can grow our aviation footprint statewide, the more attractive we are for future missions from a workforce, state support and general capacity perspective. 

“Hard-working Georgians build the most advanced and effective weapon systems in our military. I have no doubt that if our state was given a chance to compete, we would produce a next-generation aerial refueling tanker that meets the mission requirements and reliability our soldiers need.

“Every branch of our military relies on aerial refueling for the air support, supply, medevac and other critical functions that enable combat effectiveness. The makeshift measure the Air Force is currently employing does not bring the reliability, cost-effectiveness and technological capability that is needed. As such, I urge the U.S. Department of Defense to immediately proceed with a tanker competition and hope that our state’s congressional leaders will act to support this step.” 

Representative Shaw Blackmon represents the citizens of District 146, which includes portions of Houston County. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2015 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee.


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