Col. Mark Fluker to step down as F-35 maintenance chief

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM.

 “Then we go launch that airplane,” Fluker said.

One highlight for Fluker was when the group designed its own training procedure to certify maintainers to do their own engine runs. Now they don’t have to call a pilot in to power up the plane to check if a repair they made did the trick.

 “Nobody else in the Air Force does that,” he said.

The training center at Eglin should start graduating maintainers next January. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bodgan, the F-35 program director, said recently that Eglin will remain the “center of the universe” for the jet’s maintenance training.

Toth said Fluker’s greatest accomplishment was helping bring a fledgling program to fruition.

 “When Col. Fluker arrived over three years ago, what you see here around the 33rd Fighter Wing — in terms of personnel, structures and F-35 aircraft — was only a vision,” he said. “His greatest feat was helping make that vision a concrete reality.”

Contact Daily News Staff Writer Lauren Sage Reinlie at 850-315-4440 or Follow her on Twitter @LaurenRnwfdn.

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