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Continuing discussion started in this thread:

Extract from a 30 column-inch article that begins on page C1 of the Sunday, 3 Apr 2005, edition of the Amarillo Globe-News:

Former Marine One Pilot Knows Aircraft
Opinion; Dwayne Hartnett

Retired Brig. Gen. Guy Vander Linden is a former Marine One pilot. . . knows a thing or two about the presidential helicopter. . .

. . . Vander Linden was in town Wednesday as Bell Helicopter Textron, city officials, and about 300 invited guests celebrated Amarillo's role in building the state-of-the-art aircraft.

Bell, along with its [Team US101] partners Lockheed Martin and Agusta Westland, an Italian aerospace company, won the contract in January to build the fleet of 23 presidential helicopters. . .

. . . [Vander Linden] is now on the payroll of Agusta Westland as the company's top marketing representative and liaison to the Pentagon . . .

. . . The final decision came down to two competitors: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and the Team US101 partnership.

Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England awarded the contract to the Bell group on Jan 28 -- much to the regret of Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn, and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

An example of the division: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, broke ranks with the liberal colleagues on the matter. . .

. . . The argument advanced by the3 two New England senators was that awarding Team US101 the contract to build Marine One would ultimately send American jobs overseas.

The last time I looked there was little water around the Bell Assembly Cent4er.

"Their complaints about the loss of jobs and the aircraft featuring foreign parts didn't hold up," Vander Linden repeated during his brief visit to the Bell operations and Amarillo.

He didn't mention that Bell's present work force is expected to eventually top 1,700 employees as production of Marine One becomes a reality. . .


More jobs for the good folks here in Amarillo seems to rankle ultra-liberals Kennedy and Dodd. Even Hillary Clinton backed out of this one; she already has enough sour grapes on her plate.

As always,

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