Firm with Saudi ties works on Air Force One, other VIP jets

GDC Technics has been servicing President Obama’s jet as a contractor for Boeing, according to the Air Force. This is the first time the Pentagon has acknowledged that a contractor from a business with foreign ties has worked on Air Force One.

The company was bought in 2013 by MAZ Aviation, which is owned by Saudi businessman Mohammed Alzeer. It also has operations in Fort Worth, Texas, and in Germany.

The Air Force considers the security of Air Force One a top priority, said Lt. Col. Chris Karns, a spokesman. The White House declined to comment.

“While we can’t go into specific details about security measures, there are stringent security protocols in place,” Karns said. “The security processes related to Air Force One are proven and effective.  GDC, a subcontractor to Boeing, does not have unsupervised access to the aircraft nor do they have access to sensitive information about the plane.  This particular subcontract is for cabinets, desks, and other furnishings and all work is conducted offsite.”

The Pentagon’s reliance on contractors for military work has grown dramatically during the last few decades. Contractors often outnumber U.S. military personnel on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service. In June 2015, for example, there were about 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan compared with 29,000 Pentagon contractors, according to the service.

Full article: Firm with Saudi ties works on Air Force One, other VIP jets (USA Today)

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