F-35A readiness boosted with deployed spares pack

A team of aviators have successfully built a second deployed spares pack for the F-35A Lightning II, enhancing supply-chain resilience and operational preparedness of the Air Force.

CAPTIONLeading Aircraftwoman Indianna Biles and Leading Aircraftwoman Olivia Jacobs conduct a stocktake prior to sealing the container holding the spares pack, ready for transportation to RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory.

The deployed spares pack is a collection of several storage containers and numerous aircraft pallets of spares, designed to support F-35A Lightning II operations in a deployed environment until a steady state re-supply is established. It contains parts and consumables for various systems of the F-35A, such as avionics, hydraulics and propulsion.

The project was a collaborative effort between 17 Squadron Retail Warehouse, F-35A Retail Warehouse, 81 Wing, Joint Project Office and industry partners. The team planned and executed the build of the second pack in consultation with a range of stakeholders following the successful delivery of the first edition in 2020.

The second edition was completed in late October 2023 after the F-35A Joint Program Office confirmed the delivery date for the parts in early September.

The team worked together to procure fit-for-purpose storage containers and cabinetry to assemble and pack the spares according to the specifications. Sergeant Jonathan Geer was one of the team members who contributed to the production of this edition.

“We are all glad to be completing this final piece in the project and could not wait to snap the chalk line and merge the teams from both units to complete this goal,” Sergeant Geer said.

The second edition will be positioned and managed by aviators from 17 Squadron Airbase Logistics Flight at RAAF Base Tindal. This is where they will collaborate with 75 Squadron Logistics, providing F-35A supply-chain support and oversight.

Establishing the second deployed spares pack was a significant milestone for the F-35A logistics capability team, as this will allow the Air Force to sustain F-35A operations in any location and scenario.

The team’s integration and professionalism throughout the project made a key contribution to delivering the project objective, of enhancing supply chain responsiveness and operational preparedness moving forward.

The F-35A Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter jet that provides the Air Force with a transformational and potent air combat capability.

Air Force currently operates 63 F-35A aircraft, and will operate a total of 72.


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