Week of 3/26/2020

Protecting Your Health and Safety

In this time of uncertainty, I want to provide an update on how the program continues to address COVID-19. My number one priority will always remain your health and safety. Because of our unique role in national security, we are asked by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to keep normal operations in support of the warfighter. Even though we continue to operate, we are doing all we can to protect you.

We have taken strong measures to promote the health and safety of employees who cannot work remotely. At our facilities, we activated COVID-19 Sanitation “Response Level 1,” enhanced cleanings. This response means we have taken measures to reduce health and safety risks. These measures include deep cleans in breakrooms and high traffic areas; increased cleanings throughout the plant; and we have distributed disinfecting materials to all leaders on the production line. We are working closely with our contractor, providing daily feedback to ensure they are providing the service we expect.

We have put in place measures to protect the health and safety of employees who work in classified and closed spaces. To increase the social distance, we are using vacant rooms to allow individuals to maintain 6 ft. apart and we implemented new schedules to reduce the number of employees at work. These are just some of the many measures in place to create a safe work environment. I want to thank our Facilities, Health and Wellness, and Environmental Safety and Health teams for their dedication and around the clock work to protect all of us.

This week, I continued to walk our production line to speak with employees. You are doing a great service to our country by continuing to perform with excellence despite the challenging events unfolding around us. I commend you all for rising to the occasion and I am proud to lead you.

F-35 Nation, I know these are challenging times, but managing tough challenges and environments is when the F-35 program performs at its best. I encourage you to take time for yourself, reach out to your friends and families, and please take care of yourselves and each other.

The F-35 Delivers Rapid Readiness

This week, I want to highlight the F-35 in action. Recently, the 34th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron put F-35 5th Generation airpower to the test.

The squadron deployed to demonstrate the Rapid Unit Dynamic Employment (RUDE) concept. This concept deploys a small squadron of aircraft, maintainers and pilots to an undisclosed location to conduct sustained combat operations.

The RUDE concept tests the rapid readiness of the F-35 and the team delivered outstanding results. Within 12 hours of arriving at the undisclosed location, the F-35 was ready to provide combat air capability. The team launched two aircraft and supported U.S. forces on the ground. This quick turnaround shows the rapid readiness and our sustainment efforts to deliver the best aircraft possible to our men and women in uniform.

The RUDE concept represents the future of the enterprise. We must continue to increase F-35 mission readiness and this deployment is another example of our capability to rapidly deploy with combat ready aircraft. Great work to the 34th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and the Lockheed Martin team!

To view a video on the mission: Click Here

Miramar Marks Another Milestone

On March 20, the "Black Knights" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) achieved Safe-For-Flight certification from Marine Aircraft Group Eleven (MAG 11) following several months of F-35C Lightning II transition training.

The certification represents another significant milestone in the squadron’s transition from the F/A-18C Hornet to the F-35C. Attaining a Safe-For-Flight certification formalizes senior headquarters assessment that the squadron is ready to conduct maintenance and flight operations and implement safety programs.

"The 'Black Knights' have met or exceeded every challenge faced during this transition, and I am extremely proud to be a part of this fantastic squadron. Today's achievement marks a significant milestone and the beginning of a new chapter in our storied legacy. The F-35C advances our capability well into the next generation of fighter-attack aircraft and will keep our squadron, and our service, relevant for decades to come," said LtCol Cedar Hinton, commanding officer of VMFA-314.

Congratulations to Team Miramar and I look forward to seeing you in the skies. F-35 Nation, that's a wrap, have a great week!