EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla --
Two Airmen from the 33rd Maintenance Squadron Corrosion Control Section have revamped the corrosion compound and have acquired a brand new media booth, blast cabinets and are working on renovating their paint booth.
The CCS looks completely different today than it did a year ago. Despite not having the equipment they needed for every project, Airmen would take extra steps to complete a job usually at the expense of extra man hours.
“People were making it happen,” said Technical Sgt. Jonathan Mercier, 33 MXS Low Observable CCS 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.”
The new equipment significantly reduces the time required for tasks and allows the two-man shop to complete tasks that used to take a day’s work in only a few hours.
“Now with our own equipment, we just step a few feet away and get it done in a fraction of the time it took before,” said Airman 1st Class Evan Green, 33 MXS LO aircraft structural maintenance journeyman.
Mercier stated that the journey to acquiring the new equipment was difficult at times but in the end was worth it because of the savings to time and resources. The CCS is currently working to get their media booth completely certified and hope it will be fully functional by mid-March.
These upgrades being made to the 33rd MXS CSS are significant as the wing looks forward to preventative maintenance for its F-35A Lighting II fleet. As the Air Force and 33rd Fighter Wing receive the newest aircraft, it is important to keep 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 ten years,” said Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Coltrin, 33 MXS superintendent. “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.”
The certification of the new media booth is the final piece needed to be fully functional. While the compound shows significant improvement and increased capabilities, corrosion control section members plan to continue working together to upgrade equipment and improve processes wherever possible.