WASHINGTON --- The Defense Department plans to dissolve the F-35 Joint Program Office and revert to a more traditional management structure where the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all run their own program offices – eventually.
In a March 27 letter to Congress, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official acknowledged that splitting up the F-35 management into smaller offices is likely the way to go for the future of the Pentagon’s largest acquisition program.
But exactly when such a transformation will occur was not defined in the letter written by Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and the expectation in the Pentagon is that it could happen within the next several years.
“In order to effectively integrate and sustain the F-35 in the joint force, the military departments must have more direct ownership of the F-35 program and leverage organic capabilities, processes and infrastructure,” Lord wrote in the letter, which was sent to the congressional defense committees and first acquired by Inside Defense.
“The department will evaluate the right time to begin this transition through the F-35 executive steering group, which has participation across the department.” (end of excerpt)
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