The F-35 program goes before the Defense Acquisition Board—chaired by Pentagon acquisition chief John Young—on March 26. At that time, he’ll decide if the program is ready to start on the second batch of low rate initial production. It would seem likely Young will OK the start, based on his remarks at a House Armed Services Committee tactical aviation panel hearing March 11. Although he acknowledged that prime contractor Lockheed Martin has not hit some of its schedule marks, Young noted that Pentagon and Congressional cuts of more than $1 billion have made “a real impact” on the program’s ability to keep on schedule. In fact, Young said, the F-35 is “a well-managed, well-run program that is working to deliver cutting-edge fighter capability.”
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.