Week of 6/18/2020

Juneteenth: A Time to Celebrate, Reflect & Learn

Tomorrow in the United States, we celebrate Juneteenth – a commemoration of the end of slavery. Juneteenth is a day of reflection, education and connection, and a time to highlight the community's resilience and solidarity. It also serves as a reminder of the work yet to be done. Today, Juneteenth provides a valuable opportunity to show our continued support for our African American colleagues and make clear our commitment to reversing the racial injustices that plague our country.

On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the fight against racial injustice and reflect on the principles of equality and justice and how we can all work together to ensure a more equitable world for both current and future generations. I encourage you to celebrate Juneteenth through sharing your experiences, listening and finding ways to become a better ally. Take this time to engage in difficult and respectful conversations to learn and better support the African American community.

I personally have had several events in my life experience where I have witnessed white privilege or realized I or those close to me have an unconscious bias. In some cases the actions I witnessed were intentional, in others, especially in regard to unconscious bias, they were not. The actions were due to personal life experiences and assumptions. The beginning of change is acknowledging both exist, reflect on the experience and then be willing to take action to intercede and make change. Acknowledging is the hard part. To acknowledge can be uncomfortable. Change can be uncomfortable. Acknowledgement can also be healing and progressive. It is time to change.

U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett Visits Fort Worth

Last Friday, it was an honor to host U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett; U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, U.S. Representative Kay Granger, previous Lockheed Martin CEO and current Executive Chairwoman of the Board Marillyn Hewson and our new CEO Jim Taiclet at the epicenter of F-35 production in Fort Worth.

During the visit, Sec. Barrett met with and thanked Lockheed Martin employees for their commitment and essential work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the tour focused on the economic impact of the F-35 program, COVID-19 challenges and the future and long-term Sustainment of the F-35 fleet.

This was the first customer visit in our new COVID-19 world and I commend the entire team for their collective efforts, attention to detail and professionalism to create a safe and impactful visit for our customer. Thank you for carrying our water!

First Woman F-35 Pilot Flies In Combat

This month, the F-35 made history in hostile skies. Air Force Capt. Emily "Banzai" Thompson is the first woman to fly the F-35 in combat.

To make the milestone more exciting, Capt. Thompson was supported on the ground by an all-female crew. Capt. Thompson began her career flying the F-16 and has since transitioned to flying the F-35."This is my first deployment, so it was a pretty big deal, the first combat sortie for me. Of course, being the first female, it's a pretty big honor. There's a lot of females who have come before me and there's a lot of females already flying combat sorties in other platforms. So just to be the person who gets that honor, that first, it just meant a lot," said Capt. Thompson.

Today, many women maintain and fly the F-35. This milestone makes me excited about the future and I hope it inspires more women to become part of the F-35 program.

F-35 Supplier Continues To Perform

Under the challenging circumstances of COVID-19, all corners of F-35 Nation continue to adapt and deliver. Asco Aerospace Canada Ltd. completed production of their first F-35C variant bulkhead for delivery to Lockheed Martin. Asco has produced 265 highly complex titanium and aluminum bulkheads for the F-35A and B variants.

“Asco looks forward to continuing to support Lockheed Martin on the F-35 Program. The work statement with Lockheed Martin is key to enabling us to navigate through these difficult times in the Commercial Aerospace market,” said Kevin Russell, Vice President and General Manager of Asco Aerospace Canada Ltd.

The strength of the F-35 program stems from our partners and Asco is no exception. Thank you for your work to help deliver the F-35 to our customers.