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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Inside the C-17

Wow, what an experience I had yesterday --thanks in part to Congresswoman Laura Richardson. You see she was visiting the Boeing plant to talk to executives and workers about the importance of continuing the C-17. I attended because Boeing is in my district (and the Mayor and Vice Mayor were not available).

We had several briefings and then went to the plant to view a plane being assembled and then on to a finished plane where we entered the cockpit and the two of us sat in the pilot and co-pilot seats. (No, I don't know which was which...)

Anyway I credit Laura for my access because she made certain that I was included up front and she acknowledged my being there several times. (This is something Asssemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal is also very good at doing when she attends an event and there are other elected officials.)

We also met with several of the suppliers -- companies which provide parts and other services to make the C-17 happen. They and the employees at Boeing amount to 30,000 jobs across the US directly related to the C-17.

The Air Force continues to say privately it wants the C-17 as its cargo plane -- because of problems with the C-5. However, when the budget comes, AF doesn't put a request in for it. So the House of Representatives added a request for 15 planes.

Currently, most of the planes being purchased are for commercial uses in the Middle East. The C-17 requires little crew, is reliable and can carry a ton (actually many tons) of cargo and personnel.

Long Beach needs the C-17. So does the U.S.

Save Station 18

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