F-35: Luke Maintainers Integrate with Lockheed Martin
Airmen from the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit integrated with the Lockheed Martin maintainers to begin performing maintenance for the F-35 Lightning II beginning in Jan., eventually with the goal of taking over the U.S. F-35 maintenance for the unit.
“We can’t afford to have any dip in pilot training so we need to make the integration and transition as seamless as possible,” said Capt. Lauren Chaffee, 62nd AMU officer in charge. “Eventually every F-35 AMU here at Luke will mirror what we’re going to be.”
Lockheed Martin currently has the contract to provide maintenance for all 62nd AMU F-35 Lightning II aircraft, but starting in June the U.S. Air Force will take on the responsibility for the U.S. fighters, while Lockheed Martin will continue to maintain partner country F-35’s.
“This lays the foundation for the future of Luke as far as how we’re going to do maintenance,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Hopper, 62nd AMU F-35 tactical aircraft maintenance specialist.
The new integration will also require some changes in manning.
“We have over 100 Airmen who are going to be coming over to the 62nd AMU,” Chaffee said. “We’ve had to increase manning in the 61st AMU in order to transition those individuals over to the 62nd AMU without impacting operations to the 61st. Meanwhile, the 63rd AMU is going to open later this year.”
The influx of Airmen to the AMUs will help spread manning across different units allowing more diversity at Luke.