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Video: CAFB Adds New Painting & De-Painting Facility

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-The Columbus Air Force Base has accepted a new paint and de-painting facility that has been in the works since March of this year.

It takes many men and women to make sure the air crafts at Columbus Air Force Base stay up to date and in great condition.

One of those tasks is to remove old paint and repaint the planes every three to four years. With the new facility and technique the Columbus Air Force base will be saving time and money.

“With the added savings and the economy that we are able to bring in over 44 percent less the time it’s going to take to process air craft now while at the same time saving 150,00 dollars a year,” says Colonel Jim Sears.

To prep and repaint a T38 air craft it would take of to 10 days with the old process, but now it takes about seven. And with all the planes the Columbus air force base is responsible for…time is everything.

“We support over 500 Air Craft that this facility operates from the United States Air Force and The United State Navy. Nearly half of which I like to say are right here at Columbus Air Force base,” says Col. Sears.

Engineer, Joe Batek, says the old way took too long as well as being a health hazard.

“We took away the old chemical strip process the old process was on environmental hazard deem so by the federal government so what we are doing now is we are replacing it with this modified corn starch product as an abrasive blast system,” says Col. Sears.

So why do the planes get repainted every few years?

Colonel Jim Sears, 14th flying wing commander, says it’s a way to examine the plane for any erosions and to extend the planes life.

“The main thing we do when we strip the pain is we are able to look for places where some of that aging metal may have corroded and may not be able to support the air craft the way that it be able to support the air craft the way that it would if it were not an older material. When we find there we’re able to replace or repair as appropriate before we do a new paint job essentially on the air craft,” says Joe Batek.

“Some of the jets in use on base are up to fifty years old and still in great condition thanks to the painting and de-painting process. With this new facility they are hoping for many more years after that,” says Col. Sears.

The facility cost up to FOUR point seven million dollars.