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.


 
 

 

SAPR: More than just an Air Force acronym

As an Airman and a senior leader in the Air Force Reserve, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impacts of sexual assault on an Air Force organization. Regardless of your unit or military status, Active or Reserve, no one is immune to these impacts nor absolved of their responsibility to combat the instances of sexual assault...
 
 

ACC, PACAF commanders confirmed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Herbert Carlisle will be the next commander of Air Combat Command and ACC Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson will be the next commander of Pacific Air Forces, according to a Senate confirmation vote July 23. Headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, ACC leads America’s Combat Air...
 
 
Flooding_pict

Flooding still underway this year, avoid water runoff problems

While rain in a desert climate is usually welcome, too much of a good thing can a problem for travelers, especially newcomers who may not be familiar with how quickly driving and other travel conditions can change. “There hav...
 

 

Cyber Airmen create virtual help desk

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — The Air Force Enterprise Service Desk is going virtual, and Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland will be the first to see it as it rolls out across the Air Force, starting the end of August. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has challenged...
 
 

AFSOUTH strengthens space ties with partner nations

Three officers from the Dominican Republic, Peruvian and Brazilian militaries partnered with active-duty and guard Airmen at Davis-Monthan for a rare opportunity to work collectively on the space component of PANAMAX 2014, Aug. 8-15. For a third year, partner nation participants took part in the space element of PANAMAX, an annual U.S. Southern Command sponsored...
 
 

The Judge Advocate General’s Corps announces law school programs

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — Officers interested in continuing to serve the Air Force as a judge advocate are able to apply to the Funded Legal Education Program, or FLEP, and the Excess Leave Program, ELP. Officers selected for FLEP have the opportunity to attend law school at the Air Force’s expense while...
 




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