Home' Air Force News : September 15th 2011 Contents 9
September 15, 2011
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AUSTRALIA's decision to join the
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in
2002 is paying significant dividends,
both for Australia and the US.
One of the many benefits was
early and very privileged access
to F-35 information, according to
GPCAPT Ian Farnsworth, the senior
Australian officer in the Joint Strike
Fighter Program Office (JPO), based
in Virginia, USA.
"The opportunity to influence the
design and capability of an advanced
fighter aircraft is unprecedented,
GPCAPT Farnsworth said.
Australia is in a global partner-
ship, which plans to deliv
than 3000 F-35s of
The JPO is staffe
personnel from all
nine F-35 partner
Starting with a sing
representative in 2002,
Australia now has 11
people in the JPO.
Farnsworth said that
tion in the JPO was
"We are helping the US to deliver
the promised F-35 capability and also
ensuring Australia's interests are ade-
le in assisting with
Australian Government's decision-
making on F-35, we wear two hats.
"Under arrangements agreed in
2002, my team and I work for VADM
David Venlet (USN), the American
head of the F-35 program.
"With a background in the fast jet/
aerospace environment, we contribute a
range of RAAF and Defence Scientific
and Technology Organisation expertise,
including the concept of operations
development, technical risk analysis,
airworthiness certification, structural
integrity management, maintenance
planning and project management.
"It's both challenging and
extremely rewarding. We work
with the US and the other partner
representatives in the JPO to deal
with those challenges. We have lead
experts in some disciplines, and as a
group, it's often commented that we
punch above our weight."
In addition to providing Australia's
F-35 project with critical F-35 infor-
mation on a round-the-clock basis,
seven days a week, the team coordi-
nates the many Australian visits to
the JPO and Lockheed Martin's F-35
plant at Fort Worth.
The importance of that role was
reinforced by Defence Minister
Stephen Smith when he met the team
during his visit to the JPO in July to
discuss progress on the F-35 program
with VADM Venlet.
CDF GEN David Hurley, former
Secretary of Defence Ian Watt and
Chief of the Capability Development
Group AIRMSHL John Harvey
While all F-35 partner nations are
represented in the JPO, Australia is
one of only a few partners who have
an embedded national representative
with Lockheed Martin.
SQNLDR Bronwen Harrigan,
Logistics Coordinator from the New
Air Combat Capability project office,
works to ensure Lockheed has a good
understanding of Australia's F-35 sus-
tainment requirements and introduc-
tion into service plans.
Reaping the benefits
VISIT TO VIRGINIA:
Some of New Air Combat
Capability's JPO team
during a recent visit -- From
left, back: SQNLDR Paul
Albrecht, SQNLDR Scott
McPherson, Graham Bell
(DSTO), SQNLDR David
Mackay, WGCDR Ted
Schnieder and Joanna
Kappas (DSTO). Front:
GPCAPT Ian Farnsworth,
Defence Minister Stephen
Kim Beazley and former
Defence Secretary Ian Watt.
f three different
d by about 400
quately considered," he sai
we play a key role in
the Austr li
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