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507th Sheet Metal Shop gets new paint booth

Staff Sergeant Derek Bryant, 507th Sheet Metal Shop, sands a B-4 stand in the new paint booth.  This is the first piece of aerospace ground equipement (AGE) to go through the corrosion test and painting process in the new facility.  The stand is one of two pieces of equipment currently in the new paint booth.  The sheet metal shop begins the process of converting all AGE equipment from green to gray.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mark Hybers)

Staff Sergeant Derek Bryant, 507th Sheet Metal Shop, sands a B-4 stand in the new paint booth. This is the first piece of aerospace ground equipement (AGE) to go through the corrosion test and painting process in the new facility. The stand is one of two pieces of equipment currently in the new paint booth. The sheet metal shop begins the process of converting all AGE equipment from green to gray. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mark Hybers)

Staff Sergeant Derek Bryant, 507th Sheet Metal Shop, sands a B-4 stand in the new paint booth.  This is the first piece of aerospace ground equipement (AGE) to go through the corrosion test and painting process in the new facility.  The sheet metal shop begins the process of converting all AGE equipment from green to gray.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mark Hybers)

Staff Sergeant Derek Bryant, 507th Sheet Metal Shop, sands a B-4 stand in the new paint booth. This is the first piece of aerospace ground equipement (AGE) to go through the corrosion test and painting process in the new facility. The sheet metal shop begins the process of converting all AGE equipment from green to gray. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Mark Hybers)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla -- Construction on the 507th Maintenance Squadron's new paint booth finished in October and crews from the sheet metal shop resume corrosion control and paint work in the new facility.

The new booth replaces the nearly two-decade old one after being shut down in February 2011 when it could no longer keep up with the high demand.

According to Staff Sgt. Gary Poindexter, sheet metal shop chief, bidding for the new booth began immediately and was headed up by retired Fabrication Flight Chief, Senior Master Sgt. Larry Spradling with assistance from Maintenance Squadron Superintendent Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Corporon.

"Without a serviceable paint booth we are not self-sustaining and must rely on outside sources," said Corporon. "Our requirements range from the smallest aircraft parts and equipment all the way up to our powered and non-powered AGE items. The booth is vital in order for us to meet our corrosion control and prevention requirements."

Poindexter said his shop had to become very flexible with scheduling while awaiting the new paint booth.

"Performing corrosion control and painting of vital aircraft parts is paramount to our mission," Poindexter said. "We were able to work out scheduling with the 552nd Air Control Wing to get our work done using their facility. They have their own mission over there but were always very helpful with scheduling time for our equipment."

The new paint booth is slightly larger than the old booth and also brings new features that will increase productivity and decrease man hours.

"This booth has variable spray speeds and has a faster dwell time," Poindexter said. "The burners, which are hotter, kick on automatically to start the drying process. They also turn off automatically which is really great because we won't need someone checking on the booth all the time - they can work on different projects."

He also said the fans on the new booth are much more powerful, which will help keep the air inside the booth safer for longer periods.

These new features will make an immediate impact said Poindexter.

"All the AGE equipment on base is changing from green to gray," he said. "We weren't able to work on any of that equipment while we were down, so having a more efficient and faster paint booth is going to be a great help to us."

October 21 2013, some 25 months after construction began on the new paint booth the first two B-4 stands went into the new paint booth marking the start of catching up on a lot of backlogged work.

"The dedication and persistence of the members of the 507th MXS Fabrication Flight has paid off and will benefit the wing as a whole for years to come," said Corporon.