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WA, Boeing Lobby For Tanker Contract

Washington State lawmakers and Boeing Company leaders are hoping the aerospace defense contractor will land the job of building the Air Force's next tanker as the job contract could create 11,000 new jobs.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said Washington State would benefit from an estimated $693 million in annual economic benefits if the company's NewGen Tanker is selected as the U.S. Air Force's next aerial refueling aircraft.

"Our men and women serving in the armed forces need new tankers, and Washington state needs jobs. A Boeing-built tanker will provide 11,000 jobs here at home as it delivers the most capable and affordable plane for our troops," Gregoire said.

Officials said a robust aerospace industry in Washington state affects businesses, schools, communities and families.

Boeing employees in Washington will play a critical role in modifying and assembling the 767 airplanes into NewGen military tankers. Nationwide, the tanker program would support 50,000 American jobs with Boeing and send work to more than 800 suppliers. Boeing has produced refueling tankers since the 1940s. Its plants are fully functional and production lines are ready to immediately begin work.

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