Governor Rell Joins Colleagues at NGA to Support Boeing Proposal for Next Aerial Refueling Aircraft
July 9, 2010
Governor M. Jodi Rell today joined a bi-partisan group of Governors from eight other states to strongly support the Boeing Co. proposal to build the next generation of aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force – a project with major implications for both national defense and Connecticut’s aerospace industry.
“Work for more than 250 Connecticut companies – 253, to be exact – and $339 million in annual economic impact for this state alone depend on the success of this project,” Governor Rell said after a news conference at the National Governors Association Meeting in Boston. “Many of them are familiar names – Pratt & Whitney jet engines, Hamilton Sundstrand components. Others are not necessarily as well known –firms like United Tool & Die in West Hartford or Roller Bearing of America in Torrington and Fairfield. In Connecticut, as in so many states, it is the small and mid-size companies that help keep and grow jobs.
“However, as critical as this project is to our state and national economy – and it is – it is also critical to our national defense,” the Governor said. “We all remember the Base Realignment and Closure Commission round of 2005, when the Department of Defense proposed to close the sub base in Groton. We kept our sub base, and we did it on the grounds of military necessity. So this is a battle we know how to fight – and win.”
Governor Rell is a member of the U.S. Tanker 2010 Coalition, which also includes Governors Christine Gregoire of Washington; Mark Parkinson of Kansas; Chet Culver of Iowa; Pat Quinn of Illinois; John Baldacci of Maine; Jay Nixon of Missouri; Ted Kulongoski of Oregon; and Gary Herbert of Utah.
The Governors noted that Boeing’s proposal is based on a proven platform – the well-known Boeing 767 aircraft – and is projected to support about 50,000 jobs in 40 states. The aircraft – with a service life of 40 years – are expected to save $10 billion in fuel costs over their competitor’s proposal because they burn 24 percent less fuel.
“I am proud of the thousands of Connecticut workers who support our aerospace and defense economies,” Governor Rell said. “They are keeping this nation strong – at home and abroad – while providing for their families and keeping Connecticut moving in the right direction.”