—John A. TIrpak
An F-35 from the 461st Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., soars over the Mojave Desert on a test sortie in August 2014. Lockheed Martin courtesy photo by Chad Bellay.
The Pentagon has decided the Defense Logistics Agency and US Transportation Command will perform Global Transportation and Distribution and Warehousing, respectively, of F-35 parts for the global F-35 enterprise, the Joint Program Office announced Friday.
The transition to DLA/TRANSCOM-managed distribution and storage will happen over the next 12-24 months, the JPO reported.
The choice is the second in a series of designations regarding the sustainment of the worldwide F-35 enterprise. Previous announcements designated F-35 airframe and engine overhaul and depot maintenance centers in the Pacific, North America, and Europe. Regional centers for these Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul & Upkeep (MRO&U) activities allow F-35s to receive the care they need within the region in which they’re deployed, avoiding the need to move them thousands of miles back to the factory or a US-based depot for service.
Those previous picks were competitive. The JPO said the Pentagon considered data from other F-35 international partners, Foreign Military Sales customers, and DOD providers before making its selection. These submissions were “evaluated … for best value.” The choice “will facilitate movement of materiel around the world, through a single integrator.”
Program executive officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter said in a statement the support enterprise for the F-35 needs to grow “in concert with our planned assignments to ensure we have affordable MRO&U capacity to meet the planned operational delivery timelines.”
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