USAF-Navy Agree on F-35 Depot Work

The Air Force and Navy earlier this month came to terms on how they will divvy up depot work on about 80 percent of the F-35 stealth fighter, and set the parameters on how they will decide on the remaining workload allocation. “This was truly a joint effort … ensuring we will have depot repair capability up and running when we need it,” said Debra Walker, USAF’s deputy assistant secretary for logistics, in a release issued to Congress Sept. 22, but publicly only yesterday. The services laid out the terms of the agreement in a joint letter sent to the F-35 joint program office Sept. 16. F-35 airframe maintenance, scheduled to be up and running in 2012, will be located at the Fleet Readiness Center-East at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., and Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB, Utah. Engine maintenance, which will also stand up in 2012, will be at the Oklahoma City ALC at Tinker AFB, Okla., to be joined in 2014 by the Fleet Readiness Center-Southeast at NAS Jacksonville, Fla. The F-35 engine lift system, which will be resident in Marine Corps F-35Bs, will be maintained beginning in 2014 at Cherry Point. A source-selection team, comprised of representatives from all the services and the JPO, will decide on the work for the remaining 20 percent of the aircraft, which includes software and some avionics systems. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) got the word out already in June that Ogden and Tinker would get some of the F-35 depot work.