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Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt Takes Over F-35 Joint Program Office Leadership

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U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt has formally assumed the program executive officer role at the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office, succeeding Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, the program’s 12th PEO.

Schmidt recently served as PEO for Command, Control, Communication, Intelligence and Networks Directorate, according to a Department of Defense notice.

During a change of leadership ceremony on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the 13th PEO of F-35 Lightning II JPO expressed intent to further enhance the fighter aircraft fleet and to continue working in collaboration with military branches and international partners.

Meanwhile, Fick commented on the growth of the F-35 program in recent years. He thanked the JPO members, international allies and foreign military sales customers for their efforts and contributions.

“You’ve grown the fleet to over 800 aircraft; we’re operational at 25 installations around the world, and aboard eight ships at sea,” he said.

Following the leadership turnover, Fick retired from his over three decades of military service.