Bogdan Takes Charge of F-35 Program

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan became head of the F-35 program, the Defense Department’s largest-ever acquisition effort, on Thursday during a ceremony at the Pentagon. Bogdan, who’d been serving as the F-35 deputy program executive officer since July, replaced Vice Adm. David Venlet, who led the joint program office since May 2010 and is retiring after a 36-year Navy career, according to the JPO’s Dec. 6 release. “The work by Admiral Venlet and the team over the past two-plus years on the most complex program in history is incredible,” said Bogdan, who received a third star for this assignment. He added, “We are now very well-positioned for the future.” Bogdan led the Air Force’s KC-46 tanker project before shifting to the F-35 program, which aims to develop and deliver some 2,443 stealthy strike fighters to the US military, including 1,763 for the Air Force, and additional airframes for international partners. “I’m committed to delivering these aircraft to our warfighters,” said Bogdan, who raised eyebrows in September when he offered a candid assessment of the state of the F-35 program and industry-government relationship.