Week of 4/30/2020

Our Path Forward: COVID-19

Across the country, states are beginning to take measures to reopen the U.S. economy. As we enter this new chapter, I want to discuss how the F-35 program plans to move forward.

Lockheed Martin will pursue a phased approach to adapt our business operations. We will continue to coordinate with health and safety officials to determine when and how to bring employees back to our facilities. This week, leaders began designating which roles need to go into the office to complete their work and what roles can continue remotely, for an extended period of time. You should expect guidance from your leadership in the coming weeks.

When you return to work, please know our team works around the clock to provide a healthy and safe work environment for employees. These measures mean enhanced cleanings, and today, all employees must wear a mask at our facilities.

Amidst the global crisis, you continue to perform for our customers. I am proud of your efforts to sustain and grow our operations. Please take care of yourselves and each other.

500th Marietta Center Wing Delivered 

This week, the Marietta F-35 team produced its 500th F-35 center wing. The Marietta F-35 team delivered its first center wing in September 2011. The 500th center wing will make its’ way onto CF-55, an F-35C bound for the U.S. Navy at NAS Lemoore, California, in 2021.

The center wing is a major structural component and represents nearly one-third of the F-35s fuselage. The aircraft’s wings are attached to the center wing during final assembly. The Marietta team builds center wings for all three F-35 variants. The first center wings were produced in Fort Worth. Some center wings are produced at the FACO in Cameri, Italy.

Center wing production in Marietta continues to exceed expectations. Production has ramped up every year from five center wings delivered in 2011 to 112 in 2019. The time span between center wing deliveries has decreased from one center wing about every 11 manufacturing days in the initial years of the program to one every 1.8 manufacturing days today.

The team has saved an estimated $80 million of projected costs since the inception of the program. It is the teamwork and innovation of the Marietta assembly line that has made this possible. In just 500 units, the Marietta team has outpaced original optimistic price estimates.

Great work to the team in Marietta! You are an integral part of the F-35 program.

Fighter Squadrons Team Up in the Last Frontier

Last week, Eielson Air Force Base and the 354th Fighter Wing in Fairbanks, Alaska, accepted their first two of 54

F-35As. This important milestone expands the global reach of the F-35 program and safeguards the skies of the Last Frontier.

This week, to continue the positive momentum, four F-35As from the 388thFighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base flew up to Eielson to help the team stand-up operations. These jets will support maintenance and pilot training until more of Eielson’s aircraft arrive in the next month or two.

The 388th Fighter Wing was the USAF first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II fighter wing and the team at Hill Air Force Base flies and maintains 78 F-35s today. Their experience will provide integral support for hands-on maintainer and flight operations training.

“Our vision as the first combat-coded maintenance group has been owning the future and shaping the future, and this effort is in line with that,” said Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander. “It is a win for us to help them get in the fight faster and to no longer be the only combat-coded F-35A unit. In the long term, this provides us a brother in arms, who is going to take the fight to the enemy with us.”

This teamwork makes the F-35 program better. Excellent work and collaboration by the teams at Hill and Eielson Air Force Bases.

Photo Feature: Ice Cold 5th Gen Air Power

It’s only been a week and the F-35 is already bringing the heat to the Arctic. Check out this awesome photo of the F-35 being welcomed to Alaska by the F-22 Raptor and KC-135R Stratotanker. I am looking forward to more ice-cold images like this one.

Well, F-35 Nation, that’s a wrap. Take care of yourselves and see you next week.