Week of 4/2/2020

Connecting Amidst COVID-19

The F-35 program continues to operate despite COVID-19 constraints and challenges. To date, we have seen minimal impacts and I commend the entire team for your ability to come together and perform with excellence amid uncertainty at home and around the world.

Like many of you, I’ve made changes to my work routine. When possible, I telecommute to reduce the number of individuals in the plant and help create a safe work environment for all. Bill Brotherton, F-35 deputy vice president, and I coordinate our schedules to ensure there is always a member of my leadership team present in Fort Worth as necessary.

I understand telecommuting poses challenges. I miss the ability to walk down the hall to solve problems or check-in with my team. But we live in a digital age and COVID-19 presents the opportunity to leverage online tools to create positive, safe work experiences.

I encourage each and every one of you to check in consistently with your team, find ways to host virtual gatherings after work, use the NextGen Recognition Tools and always assume positive intent. Just because we cannot see each other in person, does not mean we cannot connect.

F-35 Nation, thank you again for rising to the occasion, I am proud to be part of your team.

Handy Scan Team Drives Change

Last year, the Handy Scan Team in the Fort Worth Fabrication Tube Shop sought to reduce escapes and, more precisely, construct F-35 tubes.

To do this, the team focused on 46 tubes and used reflective laser technology to better capture and compare against 3D model tube specifications. The approach led to tooling enhancements and corrective actions to build a better product.

Today, the Handy Scan will be attached to a robot to enhance in automation inspection. The robot will reduce the amount of time to issue a pass/fail report within a minute after scanning is complete.

The quick and agile thinking of the Handy Scan Team led to a 91 percent cost reduction and a 100 percent reduction in escapes with the 46 tubes. The team plans to use the same Handy Scan technology on ten additional tubes.

I want to thank the team for their efforts to Drive Change, improve processes and help better build the

F-35. This clear example of innovative thinking is what sets Lockheed Martin apart. No matter how great the challenge, we identify problems and find solutions. Thank you to the team and keep up the great work!

Exercise “Enduring Lightning” Shows F-35 Airpower

Last week, the “Enduring Lightning” training exercise took place. The Israeli Air Force “Adir” F-35s trained alongside USAF F-35s in Israel. The squadrons in the skies were the USAF 34th Fighter Squadron and the IAF’s 140 “Golden Eagle” and 122 “Nahshon” Squadrons. During a time when many international joint exercises have been cancelled due to COVID-19, “Enduring Lightning,” was able to continue on as it took place in the air with no person-to-person contact.

The squadrons worked together to face a variety of different aerial and ground threats. This exercise represents the third time the IAF has trained alongside foreign F-35s. In 2019, the IAF, USAF and RAF tested F-35 capabilities in exercise “Tri-Lightning,” and last November the IAF hosted a “Blue Flag” exercise with Italian F-35s. “Enduring Lightning,” represents the first time ever American F-35s have participated in a joint training exercise above Israeli skies and served to continue strengthening cooperation between the services.

"The Americans are our number one partner. I see great importance in cooperating on the most advanced plane in our collection with us as hosts. The IAF finds it important to work together with the Americans, leaders of the F-35 project, see how they operate, learn from them, and strengthen cooperation in the field of cutting-edge aviation technology,” said Maj. T. Head of the IAF’s International Exercises Department.

The F-35 continues to deliver exceptional capabilities for our customers. Great work to the men and women of the USAF and the IAF!

F-35 Nation, thank you for everything you do. We’ll get through this together. Please take care of yourselves and each other.