New facility paints bright future for Robins

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
As members of the Robins community and distinguished guests gathered Wednesday at the large aircraft corrosion control hangar for a ribbon cutting, many were impressed by the promise of the new facility.

Maj. Gen. Tom Owen, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center commander, said the opening of the facility is, "about keeping Robins Air Force Base and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center's future very bright."

The project cost approximately $80 million and is the largest construction project to take place at Robins.

The facility 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 was designed around the need for a facility to house a C-5 Galaxy for paint application and removal.

It optimizes the paint removal and application process for both the C-5 and the C-17 Globemaster III and increases the level of safety for the painters who work there, General Owen said. "It's a one-of-a-kind resource," he said.

The facility will enable the center to provide the warfighter and humanitarian missions with the tools needed to do their job, he added.

The facility will make it easier to bring aircraft in and out of the maintenance area, 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, when asked to name just a few of the marvels this facility brings to the center.

"This is a great day for maintenance," he added.

The facility was designed based on the needs of the users and what they needed to achieve their mission, said Jerry Thovson, base project manager with the 78th Civil Engineer Group.

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 and 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 TMP is an extremely 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 AMP is operated by someone sitting in the cab who can utilize four blast nozzles by pulling the trigger, said Kyle Moody, a mechanical engineer with the 402nd AMXG.

Mr. Moody added the man controlling the AMP can do the strip work of 10 men.

Kathy Bullington, a C-5 and C-17 painter, said she was looking forward to the new facility and the advantages it will offer. The safety conditions are better, the lighting conditions are better and it has more modernized equipment, all of which she said will help them complete their tasks more efficiently.