Congressman Boyle Applauds Air Force Decision on Fair and Open Competition
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13) made the following statement on the Air Force’s release of the final Request for Proposal (RPF) that provides for a fair and open competition to replace the aging UH-1N fleet of helicopters rather than sole-sourcing the contract without a competitive bid:
“With today’s release of the final Request for Proposal, we can finally begin the process of replacing the UH-1N aircraft through fair and open competition. I commend and fully support the Air Force moving forward with replacing its fleet of UH-1N aircraft that help ensure the security of our land-based nuclear forces. Replacing these assets are long overdue and I look forward to working with the Air Force on this priority.
Congress has repeatedly supported and directed a fair and open competition for the replacement of the UH-1N. Language contained in H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2018, threatens to upend this fair, competitive and open process by pushing a sole-source contract at the taxpayer’s expense. While I did file an amendment on this matter, I have since withdrawn the amendment given that the Air Force has moved swiftly to replace the UH-1N fleet through an open and competitive process with the recent launch of the RFP.
In 2016, I along with eleven other Members of Congress signed a letter in support of a UH-1N replacement competition, which was instrumental in moving the Air Force toward its current strategy. We must allow the Air Force to continue its competition to replace the UH-1N aircraft and accelerate its ability to field new aircraft without further delay. Taking any other path would further jeopardize this critical program.”
The UH-1N replacement program is a priority for the Air Force and for many members of this Congress, House and Senate. The Air Force UH-1N Huey was accepted into service from 1968 to 1969. It primarily accomplish two vital national security missions: nuclear missile security and Continuity of Government. The fleet also supports five homeland security missions. Over a decade has passed since our Air Force identified the need to replace the aging UH-1N Huey fleet. On September 25, 2014, then Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James reported to Congress that “the ability of the UH–1N to accomplish these missions was evaluated in 2006, and the aircraft was found to be ‘not effective.’”