Dr. Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute released a new brief on the GAO decision titled Tanker Fiasco: Five Steps to Fix the Problem. In it he makes it clear he is for rebidding the contract sooner rather than later. He also believes that changing the bid criteria will only delay the process and that there is a "simple problem to fix -- not by developing new capability metrics, but by finding competent evaluators to apply the existing ones." Sounds like a call for some personnel changes in Air Force procurement.
We have also received a rather comprehensive set of GAO KC-X Decision Talking Points from our members the Hill. The strongest points are that in addition to the number of errors made by the Air Force, the KC-30 may not have even been eligible for the contract because: 1) the KC-30 proposal did not meet the minimum required task to establish a depot maintenance capability within two year after the delivery of the first full-rate production aircraft. 2) The KC-30 proposal failed to prove that it could refuel all currently compatible planes using current Air Force procedures.
Also, while not really an analysis Senator Jeff Sessions did released a statement that highlights extremely well many of the points KC-30 supporters have been making since the GAO decision: 1) The GAO’s concerns were strictly related to the Air Force’s selection process, not the merits of the KC-30 2) The Air Force is the agency to best determine which tanker it wants 3) The tankers are need now rather than later 4) Further comments will be made after Air Force’s response to the GAO decision is known.
On point #4 above, the experts at TruthyPR believe that waiting for the Air Force answer is the worst thing they can be doing. Instead he offers that the KC-30 team:
...should have followed [the GAO decision] up with a response that they welcomed a rebid, but since it would result in the same outcome, and because the tankers are desperately needed by our men and women in harm's way, there's no reason to delay.Well count us as not believing it, even if they do start saying it more forcefully.
The goal is to promulgate the message that a new process is going to generate the same outcome. And if you don't start saying it, nobody else will believe it.