Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, program executive officer for tankers at the U.S. Air Force, has been promoted to the rank of major general and has been appointed PEO to oversee the Air Force One replacement program, Aviation Week reported Tuesday.
Lara Seligman writes Richardson’s appointment came months after President Donald Trump raised concerns about the cost of the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program and called for the cancellation of the contract with Boeing to build two new 747-8 planes through a Twitter post.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg soon met with Trump and said that the company will work to build the next pair of presidential aircraft for less than $4 billion.
Ann Stefanek, a spokesman for the Air Force, said Richardson will continue to serve as PEO for tankers until June when Col. Donna Shipton succeeds him in the role.
As PEO for tankers, Richardson oversees planning and implementation of lifecycle activities for the service branch’s fleet of Boeing-built KC-46 Pegasus, KC-135 and KC-10 tanker aircraft.
The 34-year Air Force veteran previously served as director of logistics and sustainment at the Air Force Materiel Command and vice commander of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
Richardson was tapped in 2009 to serve as PEO for fixed wing under the U.S. Special Operations Command and became PEO for fighters and bombers in 2011.
His appointment comes nearly a year after the service branch issued Boeing a potential $127.3 million contract modification to continue to provide risk reduction support for the PAR program.