NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — (Editor’s Note: See photo display of the 823rd Maintenance Squadron’s heritage wall on page 14-15 of this issue.) Within a green border, on a white and blue interlocking disc, a gray pave hawk with a black border grasps a two sided wrench in one talon and a lightning bolt in the other.
The image is the design for the 823rd Maintenance Squadron’s new unit patch painted in the squadron’s hangar after the 763rd Maintenance Squadron transitioned to the 823rd MXS Dec. 15. With the squadron’s new designation came a need for a new unit patch.
The 823rd MXS is a tenant unit at Nellis AFB and falls under the 23rd Wing at Moody AFB, Ga.
“When the decision was made to move forward with the change and align the 823rd MXS under the 23rd WG, the old patch had to be retired and a new patch had to be designed,” said Master Sergeant Mark Schultz, 823rd MXS superintendent of plans and programs and designer of the new unit patch.
After the patch was designed, Staff Sgt. Daniel Sullivan, 823rd MXS aircraft structural maintenance craftsman, and Michael Sullivan, artist and brother of Sullivan volunteered to paint it.
“I’ve done things like this in the past,” Daniel said. “I thought my brother, being in the line of work that he is in, could help out. I’ve talked to him about it in the past a couple of times to see if he wanted to help with a project around base. He always showed interest, so I figured it would be a good thing for us to get together and knock it out.”
The painting took the brothers just under 12 hours to complete thanks to their teamwork and backgrounds.
“I have had to use these vinyl paint mass stickers for a lot of ornate ceilings and motifs that go all the way around rooms,” Michael said. “It’s kind of a neat coincidence that Dan has been using the same equipment to paint insignias on jets so he knows how to work those machines and files.”
The 823rd MXS’s leadership views the team effort as a great opportunity.
“Being in the military usually means you are stationed away from your family,” said Maj. Kimberly Grover, 823rd MXS commander. “Staff Sgt. Sullivan and his brother volunteered to paint our new patch on our wall together and were able to spend quality time together and create memories that will last a life time. How awesome is that?”
The brothers were satisfied with their hard work’s end result.
“It ended up better than I expected knowing that it was going to be painted on a rough brick surface,” Michael said. “That is a nightmare. We had a real irregular surface to paint nice clean lines on so it’s a challenge. It’s beautiful, and it looks like it was silk-screened straight onto the brick. I’m really happy with it.”
“I really like it,” Daniel said. “It turned out as good as I knew we could do it. I know that [Michael] puts a lot of pride in his work, and I put a lot of pride in my work. I think we got a really good product out of it.”
The new patch is a visible symbol of the 823rd MXS’s transition and new identity.
“A patch symbolizes your identity and mission,” said Grover. “It’s that small piece that lets you know and everyone around you how you fit into the Air Force’s big picture. We are Rescue Maintainers!”
Airmen of the 823rd MXS maintain and repair engines and auxiliary power units for the HH-60 Pave Hawk.