A F-35 program will bring hundreds of new jobs to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
U.S. Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, on Tuesday announced that the Pentagon has decided to locate the F-35 Hybrid Product Support Integrator Organization at Wright-Patterson.
The new mission will mean at least 400 new jobs at Wright-Patt, with the potential for more to be located at the base over the next several years. Here’s what you need to know about the program:
The current F-35 HPSI organization was established in Crystal City, Virginia, at the F-35 Joint Program Office. HPSI supports a global fleet of more than 340 aircraft and when it moves to its new location will be led by the Air Force with a workforce from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, international partners and industry. The organization will be directly accountable to the product support manager within the F-35 Joint Program Office.
The Air Force will now conduct the requisite environmental analysis. The final basing decision will be confirmed by the Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson after the analysis is complete. This news organization has reached out to the Air Force for a timeline of when the program would be implemented.
In April, Portman, Brown, and Turner led the entire Ohio congressional delegation in writing a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. The lawmakers made the case for Wright-Patt and said the base was uniquely qualified to handle the new mission. In June, Portman, Brown, and Turner, along with other members of the Ohio delegation, met with Secretary Wilson in Washington, where they made the case for Wright-Patt in person.
The state has passed legislation in recent months that makes Ohio an attractive place for military personnel and families. Ohio occupational licensing agencies would be directed to issue temporary licenses to members of the military and their spouses when the move to Ohio for active duty, under a bill that passed the Ohio House on a 82-0 vote last week. The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.
The delegation touted that the Air Force Materiel Command and the Life Cycle Management Center are both based at Wright-Patterson. Wright-Patterson currently has an F-35 technical division office. The Fighters and Bombers Directorate, which oversees management programs such as the F-15, F-16 and F-22, and the B-1, B-2 and B-52, is also headquartered at Wright-Patterson.
This organization is an integral part of maintaining and prolonging operations of the global F-35 fleet. The F-35 HPSI’s primary role is to integrate support across the supply chain, maintenance, sustainment engineering, logistics information technology and training disciplines. It will deliver support for fielded F-35s while preparing for future force expansion.
The combination of government and industry professionals working collaboratively will ensure HPSI has a performance-based focus on F-35 fleet users, while driving down costs, according to the Air Force.