by Airman 1st Class Kedesha Pennant
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
6/22/2015 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- More
than 120 Team Dyess volunteers completed a major restoration project of
36 aircraft June 12, finishing the refurbishment of the C-130E Hercules
near the front gate at the Linear Air Park.
Originally established through the Texas Museum of Military History in
1981, the park is a two-mile-long outdoor exhibit showcasing the
historic success of U.S. Air Force and Army Air Corps' use of airpower
since the 1940s.
Thirty-five aircraft were refurbished, including the addition to the
park of an RB-66B Destroyer and F-15A Strike Eagle, before the 2015
Dyess Big Country Airfest in May. The C-130E was the final piece of the
puzzle, making it the 36th aircraft restored and finishing the project.
"The airframes received paint scores to determine deterioration levels
and corrosion analysis," said Staff Sgt. John Pater, Dyess restoration
project lead. "These numbers were calculated, and it was determined by
senior leadership that the park required significant refurbishment."
Contributing more than 114,000 man hours, the volunteers worked on the
aircraft for seven weeks using more than 280 gallons of paint in order
to complete the project. Other tasks included bird-proofing, sanding,
washing and repair.
"Initial efforts from the aircraft structural maintenance section
focused on repairing severely corroded fuselage skins and
substructures," Pater said. "The static displays received color code
matching and paint preparation work. After the airframes were fully
painted, the Dyess fabrication flight created the tail number decals and
nose arts required to finalize the renovations."
Throughout the long hours and varying weather conditions, Airmen were able to work cohesively to accomplish the project.
Senior Airman Brandon Bartling, Dyess restoration project assistant
lead, was part of the team effort which helped refurbish the C-130E in
six days and said he was excited to be a part of the base-wide
"We had Airmen from the 317th Airlift Group, children from the Youth
Center and other volunteers contribute to restoring the C-130," Bartling
said. "It's important for the aircraft to look presentable to the
public because it's a significant part of history."
Each aircraft, Pater said, tells an account of Air Force history and the
men and women who served from generation to generation. The restoration
will allow military families, residents and tourists to continue to
view and read about the distinctive stories of the aircraft, while in
the best standards.
"It was an honor to work on the historic aircraft assigned to the Dyess
Linear Air Park," Pater said. "The ability to restore the static
displays brings a great deal of pride to me and the Airmen assigned to
Dyess. Over the course of the restoration, many Airmen, including
myself, were able to admire the vast amount of Air Force heritage these
air frames brought to life and instilled an immense amount of tradition