by Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
6/24/2015 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Balancing
today's readiness with tomorrow's modernization isn't an easy task, but
the 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron figured out a way to do it and saved
$8 million along the way.
Working closely with contractors, Fairchild engineers developed a plan
to repair and repaint, rather than replace, the roof of one of
Fairchild's most iconic buildings - the 92nd Maintenance Group's
maintenance hangar complex.
The hangar, built in 1942, was mainly used as a repair depot for damaged
World War II aircraft and is now home to the bulk of Fairchild's KC-135
Stratotanker maintenance operations.
Lt. Col. Jason Campbell, the 92nd CES commander, said the fiscal savings
engineered by his military and civilian personnel alike enable the Air
Force to invest those dollars in other areas across the service's wide
gamut of operations.
"With shrinking budgets and fiscal constraints, we need to look at
innovative and cost effective ways we can maintain the installation's
infrastructure so that it can continue supporting the mission today and
well into the future," the colonel said.
This project is one of many designed to update Fairchild's facilities as
the installation seeks to become the Air Force's "center of excellence
for air refueling."
The hangar's roof is more than 25 years old and the existing paint
finish has nearly worn off to the galvanized finish underneath.
"We had two ways to fix the roof," said Mike Harper, 92nd CES
construction manager. "Either replace all the metal on the roofing or
Replacing the metal roofing was estimated at about $10 million, while
repainting the existing roof would cost approximately $1.7 million. The
new finish adds 15 years to the roof's life span and comes with a
"The process the workers go through is simple," Harper said. "They have
to pressure wash the roof first, getting it down to the bare metal. They
then spray down a proxy primer and finish with a brown coating."
In addition to painting the roof, the contractors also inspected all the
screws and panels, ensuring the roof is in the best condition possible.
Harper said a lot of repairs were made before putting the new coating
on so the roof wouldn't leak.
Harper explained the intent of this project was to make necessary
repairs to the 25-year-old existing metal roof over the four aircraft
maintenance bays and save some money along the way.
"We have to be good stewards with the tax payers' dollars," explained
Campbell. "We do this by making every dollar count and spending our
money wisely across every engineering project."