In December, the Air Force signed a $23.6 million contract with Boeing to replace two of Air Force One's five "cold chiller units," or refrigerators, and on Monday, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) said the Air Force and White House Military Office had decided to scrap that contract. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson had informed Courtney in a May 29 letter that "while not optimal, mitigation options exist to ensure food security" on Air Force One until the next generation of presidential aircraft replaces it in the mid-2020s, though if those planes are delayed, she added, the Air Force will have to revisit the refrigerator replacement.
Courtney, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, had raised concerns about the contract, and he applauded its cancelation. "Clearly, the Air Force is making the right decision [to] cancel the previously announced sole-source contract and hit restart on this process," he said in a statement. "Even with the understanding that the Air Force One mission brings with it unique requirements and challenges, a $24 million sole-source contract just didn't pass the smell test."