Week of 4/9/2020
Your Leadership’s Commitment to COVID-19
This week, I hosted an F-35 leader call to share updates and to consider future F-35 COVID-19 challengesand impacts. I emphasized that the F-35 program, Aeronautics and Lockheed Martin remain strong. Our team stands ready to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Like I’ve said before, I believe now more than ever, transparent communication is critical. To enable you to perform, I want to discuss some updates my leadership team briefed this week.
In the supply chain, our communications with suppliers remain consistent and we continue to work across all levels to understand their challenges and to mitigate risks. On the production line, health and safety remain our number one priority. We continue our important work and are assessing any potentialproduction or delivery impacts due to the pandemic.
Out in the field, F-35 sustainment continues to deliver. Our focus is twofold: to keep the mission going and to maintain the level of fleet readiness. These are difficult tasks on a standard day and it’s even more challenging in the present environment. We are tracking parts challenges due to global transportation and are working daily to assess impacts across our supply base.
Our customers continue to fly the F-35 and meet mission requirements. We’re keeping our customer-focused operating tempo going. We continue to conduct Integrated Customer Team meetings with full support across Development, Production and Sustainment. From an international perspective, we continue new program stand-up activities and business capture campaigns around the world.
F-35 team, I hope these updates provide you confidence in the program and our ability to face the challenges that lie ahead. I want to end with some feedback I received from the JPO F-35 Program Executive Officer, Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick. He emphasized in this time of tremendous uncertainty the F-35 program does not miss a beat. He asked me to thank each of you for your vital efforts that enable our warfighter to perform their missions. Please know our customers see your dedication and commitment.
In the coming weeks, I encourage you to keep engaging with your teams. Use digital tools to offer assistance and connect. We are in this together. I believe a team that weathers the storm together stands ready for the challenges that come on the other side. Team, thank you for your efforts and take care of each other.
F-35 Delivers 24/7 Readiness in CENTCOM
Last April, the men and women of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base deployed to the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility for their first operational tasking.
Initially, the mission was only supposed to last six months. However, our customer realized, “We can’t live without the F-35,” and pushed up the second operational mission six months ahead of schedule. The 34th Fighter Squadron quickly replaced the 4thFighter Squadron to keep the F-35 presence in CENTCOM.
Fast forward to today. The F-35s have conducted missions 24/7 for over a year. Through holidays, challenging environments and currently, amidst COVID-19, an F-35 always safeguards the sky.
While deployed, the 34th has conducted over 1,300 sorties, flown 6,900 flight hours and maintained 80.7%mission-capable rates. These numbers show the F-35s ability to deliver rapid readiness and capabilities our customers count on.
I want to give a special thank you to the Lockheed Martin employees embedded with the team overseas. I commend the work you do for our country to support our warfighters. Keep up the great work!
F-35 Training: 1,000 Pilots & 9,000 Maintainers Trained
Great fighter pilots and maintainers aren’t just born – they’re trained. I am excited to announce we have trained the 1,000th F-35 pilot and 9,000th F-35 maintainer.
More than 9,000 maintainers and 1,000 pilots have graduated from the F-35 Training System to date. Thirteen Military Services and 10 nations are currently training – the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, Australia, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and South Korea.
Great work to our partners at RMS for all they do to train and prepare our pilots and maintainers. With that, F-35 Nation, that’s a wrap. Take care of yourselves and each other and I’ll see you next week.
In our latest edition of Fast Facts, we mark this milestone. To view the April F-35 Fast Facts: Click Here