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November 1, 2013

Newly painted tail flash celebrates 20 years of partnership between Luke, RSAF

Michael Rairden, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft painter, mixes paint in the corrosion building. The fabrication flight’s corrosion control section’s main mission is to prevent corrosion by maintaining aircraft paint.

It’s brightly painted in red and white and definitely one of a kind.

Airmen from the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron painted a mural on the tail of a 425th Fighter Squadron F-16 fighter jet to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Air Force partnering with Luke Air Force Base in training fighter pilots.

“This mural is important because it reminds us of our mission here in Arizona, which is to make full use of every opportunity and resource available or as our saying goes, ‘to conduct high-end training,’” said Lt. Col. Maxmillion Goh, 425th Fighter Squadron RSAF senior ranking officer. “It also celebrates the 20 years of partnership and excellence that Peace Carvin II has enjoyed. We couldn’t have done it without the many friendships forged between our airmen, maintainers and the local community. We are truly grateful for these wonderful relationships and the continuous support of the wing’s leadership throughout the years.”

FROM LEFT: Staff Sgt. Justin Spurlock, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance craftsman, and Michael Rairden, 56th EMS aircraft painter, tape down a stencil of the Merlion design Oct. 17 in the corrosion building paint booth. The Merlion, which has a head of a lion and body of a fish, is an important symbol to Singapore.

Each component in the design of the tail flash has a meaning.

“The Merlion, which has the head of a lion and body of a fish, is an important symbol to Singapore as a country,” said Tech. Sgt. Bradley Watanabe, 56th EMS corrosion control NCO in charge. “And the words, ‘Peace Carvin II,’ refers to the name of the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s detachment at Luke.”

Painting the tail requires sanding, spraying a coat of primer, applying the first color and repeating the process after each component is stenciled on, Watanabe said. The last step is spraying a protective clear coat over the design.

Rairden dons a protective suit and paints the tail of a 425th Fighter Squadron F-16 fighter jet.

While the main mission of the fabrication flight’s corrosion control section is to prevent corrosion on aircraft, being involved in such a rare project was an honor, said Senior Master Sgt. Barrington Bartlett, 56th EMS fabrication flight chief.

“We’re proud to be part of this project,” Bartlett said. “We’ve had a great relationship with the Republic of Singapore Air Force over the past 20 years, and we want to continue that partnership. This is the first time Luke has painted a mural such as this on an F-16 tail.”

Rairden carefully peels off letter stencils.

Rairden dons a protective suit and paints the tail of a 425th Fighter Squadron F-16 fighter jet.




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