Wicker Says Tanker Decision a Boon for Gulf Coast Economy

February 29, 2008

WASHINGTON – Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today said the U.S. Air Force’s decision to award its tanker contract to Northrop Grumman/EADS will lead to up to 2,000 jobs created along the Gulf Coast.

“This announcement is a huge victory for the Gulf Coast,” Wicker said. “I’ve been a strong supporter of Northrop Grumman/EADS throughout this process and I commend the Air Force for making what I’ve always believed was the right choice for this contract.” 

Last month at the White House, Senator Wicker and Senator Jeff Sessions (Ala.) discussed the contract with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and asked the Secretary to ensure the tanker award would be based on the merits of the proposals.

“This decision will lead to the creation of up to 2,000 Gulf Coast jobs,” Wicker added.  “And while the tankers will be built in Mobile, the economic impact will be felt throughout South Mississippi.  I expect suppliers and other support businesses to locate in Mississippi and create quality jobs for our citizens.”

The $40 billion contract is for 179 tankers that Northrop Grumman/EADS will build in Mobile, Alabama.