The head of the Air Force’s F-35 Lightning II integration team cited the Air Force Sustainment Center’s overall joint-strike fighter support during a visit to the center headquarters here July 10.
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, Director, F-35 Integration Office, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, said he is impressed by the work being done in AFSC.
“I am exceedingly impressed by the people and the work they’re doing to support this incredibly important weapon system for our Air Force and the nation,” the general said. “From an operator’s perspective, we don’t often get to see the underpinnings of a weapon system and all that it takes to make it successful.”
The general, who is responsible for integrating F-35 activities across air staff directorates, sister services, the Joint Program Office and other Department of Defense agencies, was briefed by the AFSC leadership on the center’s extensive sustainment and logistics support programs.
“I’ve learned a tremendous amount today about all the things the AFSC is doing not only for the F-35 program but really across the Air Force at large. And I think we are, as the F-35 program, really just touching the edges of what the AFSC can provide us. I think there is a whole lot more we can tap into,” Harrigian said.
During the visit, AFSC Commander Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II, briefed the AFSC Way, an Air Force Sustainment Center program designed to continuously improve the center’s ability to deliver combat power faster, with higher quality and at less cost.
“We have changed the way the Air Force generates combat power for America,” Levy said. “We have freed ourselves from a culture of ‘this is how we have always done it’ and embraced the Art of the Possible to enhance speed, quality, and safety while reducing life cycle costs.”
Harrigian toured the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center facilities, focusing on the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center and F135 engine test cell which recently completed engine modifications on 10 Marine Corps F135 engines.
In addition to the F-35 depot maintenance operations at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill AFB, which recently completed the first depot-level modifications on two F-35B STOVLs for the Marine Corps, the OC-ALC performs heavy maintenance on the F135 engine as well as providing organic software development and support. The F-35 program also requires aggressive supply chain support.
“Seeing what the team is doing here from the F135 to the software development capabilities, there is a whole lot of capability out there, particularly for the F-35 that I need to be able to take back and have that discussion with the program office, the Marines and Navy to make sure corporately we are making the best decisions to move this weapon system forward,” Harrigian said.
Levy added the work done by the OC-ALC and OO-ALC on the Marines Corps’ engines and aircraft is just one of the aspects of the F-35 program that showcases the AFSC’s ability to generate financial efficiencies and industrial base benefits for the U.S., partner nations and Foreign Military Sales customers through economies of scale and a global sustainment focus.