TUCSON, Ariz. – The U.S. Air Force announced this week that it had awarded a $400 million contract to the Raytheon Missiles & Defense technology company, which reportedly surprised company leaders as they weren’t sure what the contract was intended for.
“While we are of course excited to once again partner with the world’s premier air and space force to work on a project to protect the nation, could we have a hint?” asked company spokesman Jonathan Miles. “Nothing is really coming to mind.”
The awkward moment was caught on camera when Air Force Vice Chief of Staff General Stephen W. Wilson announced the contract during a press briefing at the Pentagon. Raytheon representative Darryl Pritchard, who just happened to be sitting in the back, spit his coffee out and sprayed the back of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
“At first, I thought maybe it’s the hypersonic missile thing,” admitted Pritchard. “But didn’t we just get a boatload of money for that? So as I was about to open my mouth I realized it could be something about COVID-19. So I just smiled and waved.”
Raytheon quickly assembled a project team to figure out what they are supposed to provide the Air Force, and to do so in a way that won’t embarrass the company.
“We can’t just say, ‘Thanks for nearly half a billion dollars. Oh by the way, what’s it for?’” said an embarrassed senior vice president. “Not again.”
Veteran defense contractors in Tucson were unconcerned.
“All we have to do is come up with an opaque project title, like PROJECT TOPAZ SUN, and send the Air Force a requirements clarification request,” said one program leader. “Odds are, they aren’t sure what that money is for either.”