HomeNewsArticle Display

Eglin activates F-35 Partner Support Complex

Robert Kraus, the new F-35 Partner Support Complex director, unfurls the unit's guidon during an activation ceremony May 11, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The complex will provide mission data, intelligence support, lab facilities and training to the eight partner countries purchasing F-35 Lightning II aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Amanda Farr)

Robert Kraus, the new F-35 Partner Support Complex director, unfurls the unit's guidon during an activation ceremony May 11, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The complex will provide mission data, intelligence support, lab facilities and training to the eight partner countries purchasing F-35 Lightning II aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Amanda Farr)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- The 53rd Wing activated on May 11 the F-35 Partner Support Complex, a U.S.-owned facility here that handles F-35 Lightning II testing.

Robert Kraus assumed the new position as the complex’s director, making it the first civilian-led unit in the wing. Kraus, a retired lieutenant colonel, served as the 68th Electronic Warfare Squadron commander and 53rd Electronic Warfare Group deputy commander at Eglin Air Force Base prior to this new position.

The F-35 PSC is charged with providing mission data, intelligence support, lab facilities and training to the eight partner countries purchasing the fifth-generation aircraft.

"The growth of the PSC will relieve that pressure, as well as ensure our coalition partners are ready to participate in any future operations," Kraus said.

The partner countries include: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Turkey. These countries provided critical design input and funding during the early stages of the F-35 program, which differs from foreign military sales customers.

"The PSC will directly support the partners, who currently have no indigenous capability to create mission data for the F-35," Kraus said.

The complex will interact with mission data programmers and data analysts from the partner nations. According to Kraus, one of the key projects for the unit is to support the partners in the creation of two separate hardware in the loop testing facilities -- only one currently exists.

The F-35 PSC started as a small team within the 513th Electronic Warfare Squadron at Eglin AFB, which provides F-35 mission data files to the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The team staffs 24 civilian employees and contractors, with plans to grow to about 100 personnel. The new unit will report to the 53rd EWG.

While the mission of the complex has been ongoing for nearly five years, Kraus sees the formalization of the unit as a step forward.

"The formal activation of the unit will give me a greater ability to support the partners in their efforts," he said. "(I can now) elevate the partner support functions to an equal level with U.S. squadrons, as opposed to a subordinate role."

Plans are in the works for two separate buildings to hold the new unit and partner nation personnel. This includes the Australia/Canada/United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory building and the Norway/Italy Reprogramming Laboratory building. Additional support will be provided to Denmark, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
Remembering a woman who changed the world: Millicent Young, Women #AirForce Service Pilot in World War II, dies at… https://t.co/mri1QRXOC8
From fast food to future technology, one #Airman found a new calling @AirNatlGuard and decided to ditch the fryer f… https://t.co/I8qX7GpH4n
An #F35 sits on the flightline @LukeAFB, Jan. 10. Six different aircraft maintenance units from #TeamLuke competed… https://t.co/OxVMxf7Ayw
It takes a lot of coordination to clear a flightline of snow, but @TeamMisawa--a place that averaged more than 147… https://t.co/VQ4qjdsxFz
RT @SecAFOfficial: It is our responsibility to maintain a strong national defense @usairforce https://t.co/JXzhtqdMrg
When lives are on the line, there is no margin for error. Combat Search & Rescue #Airmen at #MoodyAFB conduct pre-d… https://t.co/AsWzaa1I00
RT @AFResearchLab: When a product goes from lab to battlefield, you can expect some amazing capabilities. See what work we've done to assis…
A B-2 Spirit bomber from @Whiteman_AFB, conducts aerial refueling near @JointBasePHH, during an interoperability tr… https://t.co/wzM5GvcviS
The #AirForce Life Cycle Management Center team is working to acquire next generation fixed-wing helmet.… https://t.co/LJ2xeCLdf2
Capt Jerry Yellin, #WWII fighter pilot who flew the last combat mission in August 1945, was laid to rest… https://t.co/XnSB9Yo3PC
75 years of @WrightPattAFB! Take a walk down memory lane with the leaders in military aviation development. https://t.co/vmjwxLUydg
C-5M #SuperGalaxy aircrew & aerial port specialists @Travis60AMW join the @USArmy to transport four UH-60… https://t.co/kTxdf9axY5
RT @SecAFOfficial: Why do we care about #space? It's contested. It's congested. It's competitive. https://t.co/DJZBjF2NHu
To continue the military’s strides to become a more cohesive force, @MacDill_AFB hosted its first #Joint #PME enhan… https://t.co/K56KEUVnIb
The #AirForce aims to boost cooperative technology development between small businesses and research institutions t… https://t.co/tUi4yBcqsx
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE NOW: @POTUS, @VP and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan release the #MissileDefenseReview. https://t.co/3…
.@AirNatlGuard & @USNationalGuard #Soldiers working together towards mission readiness! https://t.co/gmVIaEqVww
The innovative thoughts & immediate actions of #JBER #Airmen ensured the Alaska Mission Operations Center had water… https://t.co/hl0zIIa05q
.@NCAirGuard #Airmen and @914ARW Reservists combined recipes for a rare hands-on experience. https://t.co/IAZ6LYrtzO https://t.co/WtjF4fITxh
Bringing the #futurefaster! @Offutt_AFB #Airmen bring ideas to life, build partnerships with academia through a ne… https://t.co/ujNSaBZxEL