Meet Jake: From the Air Force to a Career with Northrop Grumman

What have you worked on during your time with us?

Jake, KC-30A Program Manager, discusses his 16-year career with Northrop Grumman in Australia.


Since leaving the Royal Australian Air Force 16 years ago, I’ve worked on C-130 H, F/A-18F & EA-18G and KC-30A programs. I started as an aircraft maintenance engineer in deep maintenance but worked my way through technical training, training management and project management roles before my current role of program manager. I’ve loved my journey at Northrop Grumman and there’s a bright future too.

What do you enjoy most about working at Northrop Grumman Australia?

There are incredible opportunities for growth, both personally and as an organisation. Northrop Grumman is expanding in Australia and a lot of creativity is needed to develop the business in a way that will allow it to grow, while still providing outstanding support on current programs. The team is also great and I have a lot of personal friends from my time with Northrop Grumman, which reflects on the quality of people in the business.

Integrity and ethical conduct is very important to me and when making tough decisions, it is reassuring to know that these values stand above business performance and commercial gain.

What has been a highlight of your career?

In 2018, No. 33 Squadron (33SQN) was requested to provide five KC-30A aircraft to support the APEC Summit held at Port Moresby, New Guinea. Three KC-30A’s provided non-stop, air-to-air refuelling cover for the Super Hornets on station, whilst the other two provided transport for Government officials including foreign royalty. The mission was 100% successful with over one million pounds of fuel off-loaded to Super Hornets in one weekend. This was an outstanding achievement for 33SQN, Northrop Grumman and our enterprise partners; it was the first big push of this capability in volume and we delivered.

Who inspires you and why?

I love following the Formula One Grand Prix championship, particularly the Team Principals. Imagine having your competitors, customers, suppliers, regulators and investors all within stones throwing distance while your performance is being broadcast to millions around the world week after week. The pressure must be immense, they are very special people.

Read more about Jake’s journey at Northrop Grumman in Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan.