Wet paint, fresh skills
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The Wolf Pack blasted, scrubbed, sanded, painted and completed the first depot-level paint job here in six years.
The difference between this paint job and the hundreds of touch-ups accomplished by the 8th Maintenance Squadron's corrosion control section is the scale. A full paint job from tail to tip was expected to take 14 work days with a six man crew at a depot. Most other bases send their F-16 Fighting Falcons to a depot designed to conduct large-scale maintenance work.
"It's a very big accomplishment, not only for this facility but for corrosion control and our ability to get aircraft through here, painted and back into the fight," said Maj. Timothy Fuhrman, 8th MXS commander. "It's a lot of time saved not having to send our aircraft to another facility off station."
Recently, an overhaul was finished on the corrosion section hanger including a new filtration system and a power-saving upgrade. The overhaul began with minor expansions and fixes six years ago, but it wasn't just the 8th MXS working.
"To bring a facility like this back online takes a lot of hands," said Fuhrman. "I can't thank the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron 'Red Devils,' and their HVAC team enough for a lot of their support they gave us."
The upgrades allowed the corrosion control team of six Airmen to roll out the F-16 with its new coat in under 10 days, beating the expected 14 at a depot. The 14 days does not account for the travel time to and from the depot. It also gives training rarely seen by Airmen.
"It feels good to get this type of experience," said Senior Airman Logan Kirk, 8th MXS Aircraft Structural Maintenance journeyman and corrosion control painter. "I have never gotten to do a full paint job on an aircraft, so it's preparing me for the future."
On June 16, 2014, the 35th Fighter Squadron F-16 tail number 89-021, rolled out of the painting hangar with the newest coat on the base, but it won't be the only one. Other F-16s will be renewing their paint jobs soon thanks to the fresh skills of the corrosion control Airmen.
"It's a lot of pride knowing that this is the first one in years coming out of here," said Kirk. "We can go up to it and say 'I painted this, this is my mural.'"