U.S. Army Aviation Group Upgrades Corrosion Control Hangar

The new hangar is twice the size of its predecessor, with specialized blast booth and paint booth areas. Image courtesy of 1108th TASMG.

The 1108th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG) recently cut the ribbon on the first phase of a $40-million corrosion control and paint hangar in Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. The facility is expected to create a faster, more efficient workflow.

The 1108th TASMG gives maintenance support to more than 300 U.S. Army National Guard helicopters in nine states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It conducts helicopter evaluations as part of its routine maintenance. Workers try to catch any corrosion problems early so that they can remedy the issue and extend the service life of the aircraft.

Col. Glen Flowers, the unit’s commander, says the new facility has many advantages. At 60,000 ft2 (5,574.2 m2), the hangar is twice the size of its predecessor. Workers can now fit a CH-47 Chinook and only have to remove the rotors. In the old hangar, they had to also take off a pylon to fit the helicopter inside, which required extra time and work.

Another benefit is climate control. Flowers says South Mississippi weather has long been an issue in causing delays. Now, the paint will dry faster because it will not be subjected to humid conditions. In addition, a separate component bay will allow the staff to simultaneously paint the components and aircraft.

“The new facility allows us to reduce down time incurred by our customers because we can return their aircraft to them in a more timely manner so they can accomplish their stateside and deployed missions,” Flowers says.

Construction of the second phase of the facility began in October. This phase will include the addition of areas for welding, an engine shop, and rotor blade and sheet metal work. The full project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense, www.dvidshub.net.