U.S. Air Force Base Revamps Corrosion Compound

An aircraft structural maintenance journeyman holds the blast hose at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniella Peña-Pavao.

Two Airmen from the 33rd Maintenance Squadron’s (MXS) Corrosion Control Section (CCS) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, USA have revamped the site’s corrosion compound with a new media booth and blast cabinets. They are also working on renovating their paint booth.

According to the Air Force, the former CCS required extra steps and time to complete jobs. “People were making it happen,” says Technical Sgt. Jonathan Mercier, the noncommissioned officer in charge. “However, they would drive across base, ask permission to use the contractor’s equipment on the 96th [Test Wing] side, blast the parts, and then clean the equipment. In the end, doing it that way would take a full work day.”

By contrast, the newer equipment significantly reduces the time requirements and allows the two-man shop to complete tasks in only a few hours. As of March 2019, the media booth was set to become completely certified and fully functional for larger-scale projects.

The Air Force explains that the upgrades are significant as the wing looks forward to more preventive maintenance for its F-35A Lighting II fleet. As the Air Force and 33rd Fighter Wing receive the newest aircraft, they say it is crucial to keep the aircraft from the earliest low-rate initial production cycles at peak performances.

“Right now, corrosion does not have a significant hindrance to the fleet, but it absolutely will be in the next five to 10 years,” says Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Coltrin, superintendent for the 33rd MXS. “By constantly upgrading and improving the CCS, the Airmen are an example on how to be proactive and innovative by having the foresight to predict issues that are going to affect the fleet in the future.”

Source: U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution service, www.dvidshub.net.