MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan visited Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Aug. 19 to see how the F-35 program is progressing and developing in the Marine Corps.
Bogdan, the program executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office in Arlington, Va., visited Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 and Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501. .
“Bogdan is visiting for an update on the progress of the F-35’s progression here in Beaufort,” said Col. Peter D. Buck, the commanding officer of MCAS Beaufort. “This is an opportunity for Marine Aircraft Group 31 and VMFAT-501 to have face time with him, and discuss any issues they might have.”
Bogdan interacted with the air station’s senior leadership, as well as Marines throughout the ranks. He discussed the development of the F-35, its capabilities, and issues they face from maintaining to operating the fifth generation aircraft.
“This was an opportunity for us to get information directly from the maintainers to the higher ups,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jerimiah Williams, the airframes maintenance chief for VMFAT-501. “It allowed us to skip the middle man and communicate with Lt. Gen. Bogdan about things that will make our jobs easier. We discussed topics like gear and protocols.”
Speaking with the Marines gave Bogdan the opportunity to answer their questions and receive their feedback one-on-one. This helps Bogdan accomplish his mission of overseeing the development and acquisition of the F-35 for the Marines, Navy, Air Force, and the nation’s allies.
“Programs like the F-35 are a process, and visits like this are a part of that process,” said Bogdan. “It’s a new program, that’s why we must make sure its development continues to run smoothly. Right now I can visit every base that has F-35s, but soon there will be too many and that won’t be the case. This is the time for us to find the issues and solve them early on.”
Bogdan stated that he was impressed with the Marines of VMFAT-501 and looked forward to seeing the F-35’s development with the squadron. He also said that the F-35 program would not be where it is today without Fightertown’s involvement.
“I would like to thank MCAS Beaufort for hosting me aboard the installation and showing me the hard work they are putting in to help us develop and shape the F-35 program,” said Bogdan. “We could not have asked a better branch to be our launch company. I am impressed with everything I saw. I wish I could visit Marines every day. I love the Marine Corps and everything they do.”
The continued development of the F-35 program will allow the Marine Corps to efficiently provide the dominant, multi-role, fifth-generation capabilities needed across the full spectrum of combat operations to deter potential adversaries and enable future naval aviation power projection.