Air Force

April 19, 2012

D-M Airmen paint planes for protection

Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn/Released
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Andrew Lucas and Airman 1st Class Jonathan Hart, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance, remove tape, paper and sheets of plastic from around A-10 landing gear after painting the aircraft here. The whole process of painting one A-10 takes two weeks; one week to sand and one week to paint.

Stepping into the paint barn on D-M feels like being on the set of the movie “E.T.” or “Outbreak.” Airmen are dressed up in white hazardous material suits like the actors in those films, except they’re not looking for a candy-munching life form or trying to stop a deadly disease from spreading.

The Airmen are trying to stop the disastrous spread of rust and corrosion on the equipment the men and women of D-M use every day. They accomplish their mission by sanding, priming and painting. One of the larger projects that takes a considerable amount of time, are the aircraft D-M is known for, the A-10C Thunderbolt II.

“Painting an A-10 takes two weeks,” said Airman 1st Class Jonathan Hart, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance. “One week to sand everything and one to paint. The whole reason why we paint the planes is to protect them from corrosion. We also want to have presentable planes. We don’t want nasty looking planes flying around.”

With all the A-10s on D-M, plus all the other equipment coming in for a fresh coat of paint, there’s never a lack of work to do. It’s a constant rotation of incoming aircraft.

“We do a full paint job on a plane once a month,” Hart said. “We’ll sand it down and mask it off with tape. We always start a plane with the landing gear because it’s a different color. After that, we can cover that up, tape off the other areas of the plane and finish off with grey paint.”

With a job of such magnitude, a group of Airmen often help with the daunting task.

“There are usually multiple people working on a plane,” Hart said. “One person will work on one wing tip while someone works on the other. At the same time, an Airman is working on the front of the plane and another is at the back of it. We’ll sand toward the center, finish up and check our work over for any spots we missed.”

These aircraft are multimillion dollar machines. To get the most out of them, they need to be properly maintained. The process of adding paint to the aircraft ensures they have a long life-span.

“If we didn’t paint these planes, corrosion would set in,” Hart said. “They would rust up and the metal would begin to get eaten away. We use primer to stop that from happening. After the primer, we can then paint the planes to make them look presentable for D-M.”

Although the process of painting an A-10 may be a long endeavor, for Airman Hart, seeing the finished product makes it all worthwhile.

“After that two-week process of repainting a plane and you get to see it when it’s finished, it’s a good feeling,” Hart said. “You want people to look at it and say ‘that’s a nice looking plane.’”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>