MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, S.C. --
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 recently had their squadron’s banner aircraft painted at the Corrosion Control Facility aboard the Air Station. Each squadron is allowed to have one aircraft painted with bright colors which is known as their banner aircraft.
This and more is possible with the hard work of the CCF aboard the Air Station, which consist of Marines, sailors and Defense Support Services, also known as DS2.
“The CCF is responsible for ensuring the aircraft aboard the Air Station continue to fly safely without corrosion by performing periodic corrosion control inspections,” said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Tamm, the CCF staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “It’s important to make sure any minor corrosion is found and dealt with in the proper way in order to prevent corrosion from turning into a major problem which can be a major safety issue.”
The CCF has a SNCO who is in charge of the facility, but a civilian supervisor with DS2 also works hand in hand with the Marines and sailors to get the mission accomplished.
“The DS2 members don’t rotate out like the service members do and this helps when trying to keep a certain amount of knowledge in the facility at all times,” Tamm said. “Service members normally leave when their commands deploy or after their tour, there is a limited amount of time they can be here so when they leave they take the knowledge with them.”
The CCF helps supply the base with the new paint designs on its aircraft, complete the corrosion control portion of inspections and paint aircraft parts and gear.
There are two divisions working under the same roof, 51B, an intermediate level paint shop and 12C, a corrosion control section which is an organizational level workshop. Each division has a unique job they are responsible for, but the CCF Marines and sailors have the opportunity to learn from the DS2 members and each other as well.
“Getting the opportunity to help train Marines and sailors who come to CCF from their parent commands for a 12-month period of time is a great experience,” said Rick McConnell, the DS2 supervisor with CCF. “They will be able to take the knowledge learned here back with them to help benefit their command by improving the corrosion control program or better informing their unit on safer ways to get the job accomplished.”
Marines and sailors who come to CCF need to get certain qualifications such as a special physical through occupational health so they can wear the required full-face, forced-air respirators at all times and paint and touch up qualification.
Until the required paint and touch qualification is obtained they can perform on the job training with experienced corrosion control specialists.
Squadrons around the base use the CCF for small things as well, such as getting stencils used to mark items needed while deployed, help organize their shop and more. The squadrons may also have their external fuel tanks painted while hanging on or off the aircraft.
“We work closely with all units and help them out with small requests as well as the bigger ones,” Tamm said “Tasks range from painting an external fuel tank or doing some touch up paint to putting another name on the side of the aircraft.”
The CCF is unique to the Marine Corps because other military installations have to send their aircraft to other bases to get the same work done and have a longer turnaround time than aboard the Air Station.
“When we receive a banner aircraft needing to be painted it can take anywhere from two or three weeks depending on how technical the paint scheme is,” Tamm said. “Also we have jobs taking two or three days because they are not as technical as a full paint job.”
Aircraft and parts come through the facility all the time and members or CCF take pride in putting out a quality product in a timely fashion to help the squadrons get the mission accomplished, according to McConnell.