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AFOTEC hosts F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Executive Committee meeting

The X-35, Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin nears completion of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in 2001. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier based variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The X-35, Joint Strike Fighter from Lockheed Martin nears completion of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in 2001. The JSF is being built in three variants: a conventional take-off and landing aircraft (CTOL) for the US Air Force; a carrier based variant (CV) for the US Navy; and a short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. (U.S. Air Force photo)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter, the X-35C,  nears completion of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The concept demonstrator will move to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for flight testing at sea level. Testing at NAS Patuxent River will give evaluators a more accurate picture of the JSF's carrier-suitability performance.
The JSF has made 20 sorties at Edwards to field test carrier landings, expansion of the flight envelope and initiating tanker-qualification trials. (Courtesy photo)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter, the X-35C, nears completion of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The concept demonstrator will move to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for flight testing at sea level. Testing at NAS Patuxent River will give evaluators a more accurate picture of the JSF's carrier-suitability performance. The JSF has made 20 sorties at Edwards to field test carrier landings, expansion of the flight envelope and initiating tanker-qualification trials. (Courtesy photo)

Lockheed Martin's X-35C Joint Strike Fighter touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 18, 2000, after its first flight. The carrier variant JSF will be tested at Edwards and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (Courtesy photo by Judson Brohmer)

Lockheed Martin's X-35C Joint Strike Fighter touches down at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 18, 2000, after its first flight. The carrier variant JSF will be tested at Edwards and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (Courtesy photo by Judson Brohmer)

Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. -- The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center recently hosted an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Executive Committee meeting that brought together top U.S. and United Kingdom military representatives to discuss operational testing of the largest acquisition program in the history of the Department of Defense.

The main purpose of the Nov. 8 meeting at Kirtland AFB, N.M., was to review critical issues and make decisions concerning the future operational testing of the F-35.

The JSF program is an internationally oriented program consisting of partnerships with several countries that include the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway.

"This multi-national program requires a good working relationship among all the operational test agencies, cooperative project personnel, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and the JSF Program Office to ensure the warfighter receives a weapon system that meets future challenges," said Lt. Col. Gary Cooper, AFOTEC F-35 test director. "This kind of gathering helps solidify such a working relationship."

DoD and U.K. attendees included the AFOTEC Commander Maj. Gen. Steve Sargeant, the Commander of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force Rear Adm. Stephen Voetsch, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Mr. Michael Crisp, and the U.K.'s Air Warfare Centre Commandant Air Commodore Julian Stinton. More than a dozen other senior JSF program members also attended the one-day conference, including the JSF Program Executive Officer Maj. Gen. C.R. Davis.

"This JSF Executive Committee meeting, in particular, was crucial in that the two U.S. OTA commanders, AFOTEC's General Sargeant and COTF's Admiral Voetsch, only just took command of their respective organizations this past summer," said Col. Matthew Bartlett, AFOTEC Vice Commander. "It was an important milestone in the F-35 program to have these two commanders and their U.K. counterparts come together in this forum to discuss the critical issues of this test program."