Let the record show that I have nothing against Bridgeport, West Virginia.
I’m sure many defense contractors would make Bridgeport home even if outspoken and powerful Senator Robert Byrd was not a key member the defense appropriations committee. Never underestimate the industrial appeal of the plainly-but-aptly nicknamed “Mountain State”.
So I’m not surprised that the Northrop Grumman/EADS North America KC-30 team would choose Bridgeport to build a very sophisticated refuelling boom, if they win the $40 billion KC-X contract. The announcement was released at 9 am.
But I am a little surprised because Northrop told me in an on the record interview four weeks ago that they had selected Colombia, South Carolina — not Bridgeport. After the interview, they asked me to keep that quiet until it was announced, and I complied because — frankly — it wasn’t an important news story for my purposes anyway.
We may never find out what happened during the intervening four weeks that caused Northrop and EADS to de-select Colombia and make Bridgeport the proud home of a refuelling boom manufacturing facillity.
But it sure does make me curious.