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Birmingham's Pemco loses Air Force contract bid

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — Pemco Aviation Group, which employs about 1,000 people at the Birmingham airport, has lost its bid for a $1.1 billion contract with the U.S. Air Force to perform maintenance on KC-135 aerial tankers.

Pemco executives said the contract, which was awarded to Boeing, would have brought 500 new jobs to Birmingham.

"We are very disappointed that the company was not chosen for the KC-135 contract," said Chief Executive Ron Aramini. "We have requested a debriefing from the Air Force to try to understand the reasons for the award decision."

Pemco also has the option of appealing the decision.

The company's shares plunged 37.5 percent to $6.55 on Tuesday after the announcement. They closed at $6.60 on Wednesday.

The company's Pemco Aeroplex unit at the airport depends on military contracts for its survival.

The company said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission it was counting on this one, which came with a base of five years and five one-year options.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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