November 22, 2011

Sedgwick County Commission chairman perturbed by Boeing

Dave Unruh, chairman of the Sedgwick County Commission, pulled a photo of a KC-46A tanker off the wall Tuesday to make a point.

Unruh read an inscription on the framed photo, given to the county by Boeing after it won a contract to provide tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

“We’re honored that the U.S. Air Force has selected the Boeing KC-46A to be its next generation aerial refueling tanker, ensuring our nation’s warfighters will have the advanced capabilities they need. It’s a victory for tanker crews and for Kansas, where Boeing supports thousands of jobs and works with more than 450 suppliers across the state.

“We’re proud of our partnership with Kansas and look forward to a bright future working together.”

Unruh said Boeing gave the photo to the county only months ago and is now studying whether to stay in Wichita.

He is not happy about the prospect of the company leaving the Air Capital.

Boeing officials confirmed Monday that they are studying the future of their presence here.

Aviation reporter Molly McMillin reported in her blog that the Kansas Congressional delegation and Gov. Sam Brownback said the company promised jobs to the state when it won an aerial refueling tanker contract, and "we expect the company to honor that commitment."

“I’m agitated too,” Commissioner Tim Norton said.

Boeing said it expects to finish the study by the end of this year or early next year.

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