My Fifth-Generation Journey: 2004-2018


This is the first of two books looking at the standup of the F-35 global enterprise. According to the author: “It is my personal journey observing the development and evolution of the aircraft from my time working with the man who coined the term fifth-generation aircraft, Michael W. Wynne, through my many visits to F-35 sites, interviews with pilots, maintainers, and U.S. and allied government officials who navigated through the incredibly negative press and government officials trying to kill the program to have delivered a unique capability in the history of combat aircraft.”

“It is a personal journey and I take the reader to many of the places where I went to talk with the F-35 nation. But I did so not only in the United States but in the nations of key members of the F-35 global enterprise. My journey is unique and I tell it not because of a desire to be remembered but in playing a role of recorder of history of those members of the military of many nations who made this capability real despite the media and many government officials desires to see them fail.”

“But failure would have meant that we would have had even less capability than we have now after 20 years of fighting in wars of “stability” which have brought us the opposite.”

As LtGen George Trautman, USMC (Ret), Former USMC Deputy Commandant for Aviation, writes in the forward to the book: “Robbin’s ability to capture the perspectives of the key players, from pilots to maintainers and logisticians, provides a comprehensive and insightful account of this revolutionary aircraft. Moreover, the book uncovers the geopolitical implications of Fifth-Generation warfighting capabilities. As nations seek to assert their dominance and secure their interests, the strategic implications of these technologies ripple across the global stage. Through a series of personal essays and skilled interviews with those who understand the aircraft, My Fifth-Generation Journey: 2004-2018 deftly navigates through this complex web, painting a vivid picture of how Fifth-Generation warfighting will shape the future geopolitical landscape.”

The book includes a number of original photos shot by the author during his visits highlighting the roles of pioneers in the setting up of the F-35 in the services and abroad.