New facility paints bright future for Air Force aircraft

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
A new facility designed around the need to house a C-5 Galaxy for paint application and removal officially opened here May 9.

According to Maj. Gen. Tom Owen, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander,
the aircraft corrosion control hangar optimizes the paint removal and application process for the C-5 and the C-17 Globemaster III and increases the level of safety for the painters who work there.

"It's a one-of-a-kind resource," General Owen said. "The facility will enable the center to provide the warfighter and humanitarian missions with the tools needed to do their job."

The facility cost approximately $80 million and is the largest construction project to take place at Robins. It measures approximately 225,000 total square feet and has two 65,000 square foot hangar bays -- one for painting and the other for depainting -- and a common central facility systems and process equipment plant.

The facility will make it easier to bring aircraft in and out of the maintenance area. It also improves the process for mixing paint and makes it easier for workers to reach high altitude areas for painting and depainting, said Doug Keene, vice director of the 402nd Maintenance Wing.

Some of the other features that will help mission capability soar at the facility are smooth walls and ceilings, which eliminate exposed structural elements that can disturb airflow and collect paint overspray, dust and other undesirable elements.

The facility also boasts metal halide lighting for best color rendition to assist the painters.

"Paint is a very visual job and we wanted to make sure they could do a good job," said Steve Hensley, facility engineer with the 402nd AMXG.

Another asset in the structure's design is having a central location for chemical distribution with piping to the workers in an effort to avoid spillage and material handling around the aircraft.

"Having all the tanks in one area allows for more accurate mixture and more accurate control and reduces clutter on the floor," Mr. Hensley said.

Two of the other innovations at the facility include the telescoping manlift platforms which workers affectionately call the "flying carpet" and the aerial mobility or multi-access platform.

The telescoping manlift platform is a worker-friendly system that allows the workers to travel around a runway to reach different parts of the aircraft in a safe manner.

"It has a safety feature where they can't run into the aircraft even if they tried," said Bill Deaver, a base engineer with the 778th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The aerial mobility platform is operated by someone sitting in the cab who can use four blast nozzles by pulling the trigger, said Kyle Moody, a mechanical engineer with the 402nd AMXG. Mr. Moody added that the man controlling this platform can do the strip work of 10 men.