F-35 Lightning II gets new program boss after change-of-command in Virginia


Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan (right) shakes hands with Vice Adm. Mat Winter during a change of command ceremony May 25, 2017, at Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer, Arlington, Virginia. (DoD photo courtesy of F-35 Lightning II Public Affairs)

Vice Adm. Mathias Winter takes over watch as the Program Executive Officer (PEO) for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO) following a change of command ceremony May 25 at Conmy Hall on Joint Base Myer, Arlington, Virginia.

Winter assumed command from Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan whose been leading the program since 2012. Bogdan’s departure coincides with his retirement after more than 34 years of Air Force service. With the change in PEO from Air Force to Navy, the program’s service acquisition executive switches from Navy to Air Force.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office is the Department of Defense’s agency responsible for developing and acquiring the F-35 Lightning II next-generation strike aircraft weapon system for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and many allied nations.

Winter said during his comments at the ceremony Bogdan’s leadership over the years sets the program up for continued success.

“Since he took helm of the F-35 program in 2012, General Bogdan’s acquisition leadership has been bold, effective, and decisive,” Winter said. “His approach matured our relationships throughout the F-35 enterprise and set us on a course for success.”

During the ceremony, Bogdan said serving as PEO has been an honor.

“It’s been an honor to serve alongside so many great leaders and support our nation and allies,” said Bogdan. “The F-35 weapon system is now operational and forward deployed. The size of the fleet continues to grow, and we are rapidly expanding its capability. The F-35 will form the backbone of United States air combat superiority for decades to come, and I know the program is in good hands as we transition leadership today to Vice Admiral Winter.”

As deputy PEO for the past six months, Winter became familiar with the current state of the program, its complexity and its people.

“The F-35 program is more than a program; it is truly a global enterprise built upon a broad spectrum of stakeholders joined together by a common goal — to support the warfighter,” Winter said. “Our warfighters, stakeholders and JPO teammates have my commitment to provide timely continuous communications, make prudent transparent decisions, and deliver on our commitments through crisp, accountable execution. These core tenets of my commander’s intent will focus our thinking as we transition to the follow on development phase, ramp up to full rate production, and expand global sustainment operations for the growing F-35 fleets and forces.”

Winter is a 1984 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and was designated a naval flight officer in 1985. He holds a master’s degree in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School and another in national resource strategy from National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces; and a Level III certification in Program Management and Test & Evaluation from the Defense System Management College.

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