Road Trip

By Christopher J. Castelli / August 31, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is slated today to visit Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter factory in Fort Worth, TX. He will tour the facility, talk with employees there and conduct a brief media availability, according to the Pentagon.

“The secretary obviously has placed an enormous priority on the F-35,” Gates’ spokesman Geoff Morrell said last month. “That’s one of the reasons he believes we do not need additional F-22s. So obviously he’s going to be very, very much on top of that program as it goes forward.”

Also today, Gates will travel to Greenville, TX, to visit the L3 Communications plant where the company outfits MC-12 Liberty aircraft with equipment for operations in Afghanistan.

Finally, he will travel to Houston to participate in a presentation of keys to a home for a wounded warrior sponsored by Helping a Hero.

MORE: Recent JSF news:

  • Navy Discussing 2014 IOC for Joint Strike Fighter Carrier Variant
    Inside the Navy, Aug. 31, 2009 -- There are discussions among Navy leadership about shaving a full year off the initial operational capability date for the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, from 2015 to 2014, according to a source familiar with the JSF program.
  • Navy Delays Outlying Landing Field EIS, JSF Data May Be Considered, Aug. 28, 2009 -- The Navy is delaying the release of the draft environmental impact statement for a controversial East Coast outlying landing field (OLD), which would be used to practice night landings on aircraft carriers, the Defense Department announced.
  • First Full STOVL Flight of JSF May Be Delayed Until October, Aug. 25, 2009 -- The Marine Corps is still working toward a September flight in full vertical lift mode of the short-take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, but a number of minor engineering issues are likely to delay that flight another month, according to Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation.