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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brett Clashman)

“Solicit help; don’t hide”

Over the years, the term “Wingman” has evolved in the Air Force. The traditional military definition of a Wingman refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off ...
 
 

Air Force announces changes to headquarters organization

Air Force leaders announced changes to headquarters staff manning and organization today. The Air Force will create efficiencies by deactivating and realigning organizations at Headquarters Air Force, Major Commands, Numbered Air Forces and Field Operating Agencies, resulting in savings of $1.6 billion across the Air Force in the next five years. “I will work to...
 
 

Lifer: Oath of enlistment has no expiration date

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – After the alarm sounded and the Airman took cover in a nearby bunker, thinking he would be safe. That was until a rocket landed inside exploding upon impact. As a team of medics worked to locate survivors, they came across the Airman and pronounced him dead on scene. Tossing him aside...
 

 

Airmen’s Roll Call: One Air Force. One Team.

Roll Call! We have nearly 690,000 Airmen in our Air Force, from 4 distinct components: Active Duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Civilian Airmen – without question the Strength of our Team. The components have different backgrounds and cultures, with varying capability and capacity, but only when we join forces do we become...
 
 

“Solicit help; don’t hide”

Over the years, the term “Wingman” has evolved in the Air Force. The traditional military definition of a Wingman refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off the right wing of and behind the lead. This second pilot is called the Wingman because...
 
 

Commissaries partner with food banks

FORT LEE, Va. (AFNS) – The Defense Commissary Agency has established a formal process covering diversion of unsellable but edible food to local food banks. The program now involves 110 stateside commissaries that will divert qualifying food to 77 food banks approved by the Defense Department, but both numbers will continue to rise. “During fiscal year...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin