USAF Brig. Gen. John Thompson quietly had his first day as the No. 2 F-35 program overseer at the government Joint Program Office yesterday.
Maj. Gen. (s) John Thompson, official USAF photo
Thompson, selected for his second star, is replacing Lt. Gen. (select) CD Moore, who has been assigned as the No. 2 uniformed official overseeing Air Force Materiel Command Wright-Patterson, Ohio.
Thompson has been serving since March of 2010 as the program executive officer for strategic systems at Kirtland AFB, N.M. Prior to that, he oversaw the work on the Air Force's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft at the Aeronautical Systems Center at AFMC.
He comes into the position at a critical time for the program. Together with prime contractor Lockheed Martin, the government is preparing for a key set of ship-based trials for the F-35B, designed for short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing. Those tests are slated for mid-October.
Government program officials are also in the midst of a sweeping "should-cost" review of the F-35 in an effort to better understand the actual pricing associated with the aircraft in preparation for low-rate-initial-production Lot V contract talks.