FORT WORTH – Top Appropriations Committee Republican Kay Granger (R-TX) was pleased to welcome Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and Senator Ted Cruz to Fort Worth today for a tour of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 facility. The delegation, hosted by outgoing Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and incoming CEO James Taiclet, discussed aircraft production, the health of the North Texas defense industrial base, and Lockheed Martin’s efforts to adapt its operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The story of Fort Worth is the story of our nation’s defense, and private industry partners like Lockheed Martin have played a key role in transforming our metroplex into America’s leading defense hub. Generations of North Texans have worked on these production lines and produced the world’s most advanced aircraft, to include the F-16 and the F-35. The men and women who build these aircraft are the reason these jets are the best in the world. The same Fort Worth plant that produced B-24 bombers for America’s fight for freedom in World War II produces the world’s most advanced, stealthy, and lethal fighter jet today: the Joint Strike Fighter.

“Today’s visit from Secretary Barrett highlights the role played by Texas, and North Texas in particular, at the forefront of a strong national defense. As the coronavirus pandemic persists, so do America’s enemies—but the F-35 remains ready to answer the call. I was pleased to see firsthand how Lockheed Martin is committed to delivering F-35’s to our warfighters while protecting the health and safety of those involved in its production, which includes over 90 Texas suppliers and over 50,000 hardworking Texans.

“For many years I have successfully championed the efforts to increase F-35 production and to urge the Air Force to recapitalize its fighter fleet with more F-35 jets—the pride of Fort Worth and an example of the most effective, cutting-edge aircraft that our men and women in uniform deserve."

"The F-35 program, like much of defense industry, remains strong because of employees whose focus and commitment has mitigated the coronavirus impact. Thank you for your dedication that enables us to continue delivering tomorrow’s force, today.” said Secretary Barrett. “Built in the heart of Texas, this fifth-generation F-35 aircraft is the most advanced in the world, offering interoperability and speed needed to protect the United States and our partners."

Please contact the office of Congresswoman Granger for additional photos and information.