F-35 fleet temporarily grounded Published July 7, 2014 WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A Department of Defense spokesman has announced the temporary grounding of the F-35 fleet based upon a recent runway incident. Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, stated that the technical air worthiness authorities of the Department of the Air Force and Department of the Navy have issued a directive to ground the F-35 fleet based on initial findings from the runway fire incident that occurred at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on Monday, June 23. The root cause of the incident remains under investigation. Additional inspections of F-35 engines have been ordered, and return to flight will be determined based on inspection results and analysis of engineering data. Defense Department leadership supports this prudent approach. Preparations continue for F-35 participation in international air shows in the United Kingdom, however a final decision will come early next week.