February 23, 2011 |
One of the most hotly sought-after military contracts in U.S. history is expected to be issued Thursday, perhaps the finale in a scandal-ridden bureaucratic nightmare that has pitted two global aerospace titans in a high-stakes competition for a decade. At issue is a $35-billion prize purse to replace the Air Force's fleet of Eisenhower administration-era aerial tankers, which refuel warplanes while in flight. The Pentagon has twice awarded the contract, only to see its decision overturned amid accusations of underhanded politics and discriminatory rule-making.
January 9, 2011 |
By Chris Kraul Weather-beaten rancher Leonardo Bautista brings to mind the character in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel who waited years in vain for a pension. Only Bautista is waiting for a new road, or any other benefit to filter down to those who live at ground zero of Colombia's oil boom. Every day, 150 crude-laden semitrailer trucks grind over his town's dirt road, raising dust and spewing oil. Bautista and his neighbors want a paved road to mitigate the noise and environmental damage, and to leave room for other vehicles, which often get muscled off course as the lumbering tankers swerve to avoid potholes.
December 10, 2010 |
For more than half a century, beachgoers have had their views of the Santa Monica Bay disturbed on a near-daily basis. What should be a pristine panorama of sky, sunlight and surf is interrupted by massive tankers unloading crude oil, which is then transported through a pipeline to the Chevron refinery in El Segundo. About 350 tankers each year offload more than 4 billion gallons of crude oil at the bay's offshore mooring. Now, Chevron's lease on state lands that house the offshore marine oil terminal is up for renewal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2010 |
Under intense questioning by House members, the former U.S. Forest Service commander who led the initial attack on last year's Station fire conceded Tuesday that a "window of opportunity" to contain the flames was lost when aircraft arrived two hours late on the critical second morning of the blaze. Members of the bipartisan congressional panel spent much of the four-hour-plus session in Pasadena grilling the now-retired commander and current Forest Service officials about the response to the fire, sometimes expressing frustration that they were not getting the full story.
October 6, 2010 |
The Pakistani government's decision to shut down a border crossing used by trucks and tankers ferrying fuel and supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan has created a massive logjam that Islamic militants have exploited with devastating ferocity. Since Islamabad ordered the closure of the Torkham border crossing in retaliation for a missile strike that killed two Pakistani soldiers, dozens of fuel tankers have been set ablaze across the country. In some of the attacks, militants rode up on motorcycles to clusters of poorly guarded tankers and firebombed the vehicles, filling the sky with massive plumes of fire and black smoke.
October 5, 2010 |
An attack by Taliban militants on trucks supplying NATO forces in Afghanistan killed three people on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital early Monday and destroyed at least four fuel tankers, police said. Gunmen opened fire on tankers parked at a truck stop near Islamabad, causing several to burst into flames. In addition to those destroyed, 13 were damaged in the early-morning attack, said Bin Yamin, deputy inspector general of Islamabad police. Yamin said six people were injured in the attack.
July 10, 2010 |
The Pentagon entered the home stretch to replace its fleet of 1950s-era Air Force refueling tankers with three bids turned in by Friday's deadline. The bids for the $35-billion program to build the planes used to refuel U.S. fighter jets and bombers in mid-flight included expected ones from Boeing Co. and Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co., or EADS, two of the world's largest aerospace giants. But they also included a last-minute surprise entry from a dark-horse team: small, cash-strapped U.S. Aerospace Inc. of Santa Fe Springs and former Soviet Union plane manufacturer Antonov of Ukraine.
July 8, 2010 |
Boeing Co. once again finds itself the front-runner as Friday's deadline approaches for submitting proposals for aerial refueling tankers, one of the largest and most controversial contests overseen by the Pentagon. Although the latest contest hasn't formally begun, Boeing and its primary competitor, EADS North America Inc., are jockeying for position and exchanging shots over which company's tanker is the superior entry for the initial $35-billion contract. Their supporters, meanwhile, are wrangling over whether a long-running trade dispute between the U.S. and European Union should influence the contest's outcome.
July 2, 2010 |
Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded a $33-million Pentagon contract to transform its unmanned, long-range spy plane into a roving robotic aerial refueling tanker. The plane, dubbed the Global Hawk, is used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions over Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. military. Northrop plans to retrofit the plane so it can carry 1,000 gallons of jet fuel in its fuselage and demonstrate it can autonomously refuel another Global Hawk in midair by next year. "This technology has the potential to be revolutionary," said Mark Gamache, director of Northrop's advanced concepts and technology division.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 2010 |
The U.S. Forest Service failed to fill an order for air tankers that its own commanders urgently requested for an assault on the disastrous Station fire before it began raging out of control, according to records and state officials -- a finding that rebuts months of assertions by the federal agency that it took every step to deploy the planes as quickly as possible. The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said it could have made as many as four tankers available to the Forest Service on the fateful second morning of the blaze.