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Corrosion control facility should save time, money

At the ribbon cutting for the new corrosion control facility here are, from left to right, Col. Eric Kivi, 58th SOW commander; Congresswoman Heather Wilson; and Lt. Col. Leon Dockery, 58th Maintenance Squadron commander. U.S. Air Force photo by Helga Carter

At the ribbon cutting for the new corrosion control facility here are, from left to right, Col. Eric Kivi, 58th SOW commander; Congresswoman Heather Wilson; and Lt. Col. Leon Dockery, 58th Maintenance Squadron commander. U.S. Air Force photo by Helga Carter

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- The 58th Special Operations Wing was proud to announce the completion of its brand new corrosion control facility. This $10.2 million facility will boost maintenance capability by generating a stable environment for aircraft paint operations while simultaneously utilizing state of the art environmental protection features.

The ribbon cutting ceremony took place Aug. 11 and featured New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson as the presiding official. Congresswoman Wilson's involvement in the CCF project started back in March 2005, when she served as the honorary guest marking the announcement of the facility's construction.

The facility was designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October 2006. Construction began by contracting company Burns and McDonnell in March 2007. Completed in July, the 58th SOW can now plan their move in, which is expected to begin as early as this month.

Construction for the CCF was a collaborative effort, with over $410,000 in new cutting-edge technology and equipment dedicated to prolonging and sustaining the aircraft assigned to the 58th SOW. The facility is able to house the aircraft in a controlled environment while corrosion prevention operations are underway.

Perhaps the greatest advantage with the new CCF is that it is equipped with top of the line environmental protection features. According to Jackie Carnes, 58th SOW Environmental Manager, "The CCF is equipped with a high tech, three-stage air filtration system that removes 98 percent of even the smallest pollutant particles."

It is designed to remove both liquid and solid overspray at levels exceeding the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Previously, maintenance personnel performed corrosion control activities either outdoor or inside a small air filter equipped paint booth for individual parts and equipment. Outdoor operations were limited by climate conditions such as high winds, rain, snow, and irregular aircraft surface temperatures.

In addition to unpredictable weather conditions, operations were greatly restricted in order to comply with environmental regulations and Kirtland air permits. Thus, the impact was such that aircraft paint operations potentially delayed the ability to provide flyable aircraft for student pilot training due to environmental limitations or bad weather. With the new CCF, painting operations will be completed in a controlled environment, abide by the highest safety and environmental standards and will aid in meeting an already demanding maintenance schedule.

Management of the new facility falls under the Fabrication Flight of the 58th Maintenance Squadron. According to Master Sgt. Randall Scott, assistant fabrication flight chief, "Working in such a modern facility will greatly enhance the overall product. With the availability of adequate lighting, proper ventilation and appropriate climate control, Airmen painting in this facility will produce an outstanding protective finish, ensuring the longevity of the entire fleet."

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the CCF marked a significant milestone for Team Kirtland. The facility will serve the 58th SOW for years to come and will render corrosion control operations more effective with long-term benefits to the environment.

"As with any major construction project, there are always opportunities to learn new things and to meet and work with new people...this project has proceeded smoothly, which I think will result in a facility that the 58th SOW will be very happy with," said Joan Coffing, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project engineer and contracting officer representative at Kirtland AFB.