European spare parts center F-35 officially opened
More than two years after the Netherlands won the bid for hosting the European distribution center, the spare parts warehouse for all F-35 aircraft in Europe was officially opened today. The US Department of Defense already officially announced this in August 2017. It concerns the storage, dispatch and management of spare parts of more than 400 F-35s for the coming decades. With the establishment of this operation, the Netherlands and Brabant show that they are true leaders in logistics.
At Woensdrecht Air Force Base in Brabant, the European warehouse was officially opened under the watchful eye of around two hundred guests from home and abroad, including representatives from the Pentagon and US government. From this distribution center, the Dutch will take care of the logistics of the spare parts of the new fighter plane for the next twenty years. The first JSF aircraft for the Netherlands landed in Leeuwarden last Thursday. But the logistics deal is much larger than just the Netherlands. Richard Laurijssen. Commander Logistics Center Woensdrecht (LCW): “It’s not just about our own fleet, but about the entire F-35 fleet in Europe – from Israel to Norway and from the United Kingdom to the eastern border of Europe.”
Pick, pack, ship
The Logistics Center Woensdrecht acts as a European distribution center. This operation has recently been renewed and automated. In the warehouse, which has an floor area of 14,000 square meters, mainly small parts are stored – packaging and shipping take place from here, including customs clearance and export permits. The European distribution center will also have a privileged position at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam, because transport will not only take place by road, but also by air.
The Netherlands has been working hard in recent years to win the order. OneLogistics, partnership of the Dutch Top Sector Logistics, the Dutch Customs Authorities, the Province of Noord-Brabant, the Brabant Development Agency (BOM), NIDV / NIFARP and the Royal Dutch Air Force / Logistics Center Woensdrecht signed an ambition document in 2016 in which it was agreed that all parties involved would work towards the joint development of a European logistics solution for the spare parts of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the successor to the F-16.