Lockheed Martin Adds F-35 Program Managers To Ensure Smooth Introduction Into Each Service
FORT WORTH, Texas, 10/28/2009 -- The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II team has established three new leadership positions to ensure a successful F-35 Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and introduction into U.S. military fleets. The new program managers, one each for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, will provide a direct link between Lockheed Martin and the individual services.
James "Sandy" Sandstrom, a retired Air Force Major General and fighter pilot, has been named F-35 U.S. Air Force Program Manager, while Stephen Weatherspoon, a retired Navy Commander and fighter pilot, has been selected F-35 U.S. Navy Program Manager. The F-35 U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager will be announced later this year.
"Lockheed Martin recognizes that we need to deliver more than a contract or a specification-compliant system to achieve real mission success," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. "Service program managers are being selected to ensure each customer has a single point of entry into the program, accountable for successful fleet introduction and IOC."
F-35 IOCs for the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy are 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
The service program managers will interface directly with Naval and Air Force officers to help ensure successful completion of testing, prepare the fleet to receive the F-35, ensure logistics support, and provide support for the services' decision making on future modernization priorities. Theyalso will work in full cooperation with the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office to ensure consistency of effort, and to reflect common program priorities.
Before taking on his new role, Sandstrom was Deputy Director of the F-16 Greece Program at Lockheed Martin. Prior to 2004, Sandstrom served 33 years in the Air Force. He graduated from the U.S Air Force Academy in 1971 and received a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University in 1972. He was commander of the 19th Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, where he was responsible for the day-to-day flight training of approximately 2,000 U.S. and allied students. During his Air Force career, Sandstrom served as a fighter weapons instructor, Deputy Commander for Operations, and commanded a fighter squadron, a fighter wing and two composite wings. He held a variety of staff positions at major command, unified command, Air Staff and Secretary of the Air Force levels. He also served as Director of Operations, and subsequently, as Chief of Staff for Operation Enduring Freedom at Headquarters U.S. Central Command. Sandstrom is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours, primarily in fighter aircraft.
Weatherspoon, a 1972 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, received his Master of Science in Engineering from Princeton University in 1973, graduated from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School in 1979, and received a Master of Arts degree from the U.S. Naval War College in 1990. In his 20-year Navy career, Weatherspoon flew more than 3,500 F-14 hours with over 900 carrier landings. He completed three operational tours with F-14 squadrons, culminating in the command of Fighter Squadron 143 aboard USS Eisenhower. Joining Lockheed Martin (then General Dynamics) in November 1992, Weatherspoon was responsible for a carrier-suitable design for the Navy's AFX Program. He has been associated with the JAST/JSF Program since its inception in 1993, leading Innovative Strike Concepts studies, proposals, technology assessments, test programs, and assuring F-35 design carrier suitability. He led JSF Navy Business Development efforts from 1996 to 2003, when he was assigned the as F-35 Deputy Chief Engineer for Operational Effectiveness and Suitability. In 2007, Weatherspoon was selected as Director, F-35 Air System Integration, responsible for the overall System Engineering, Requirements, Mission Effectiveness and Survivability, System Security and Verification aspects of the program.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully-fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.