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Corrosion Control

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Peter Reft
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Okinawa’s sub-tropical climate exposes airfield damage repair (ADR) assets to year-round rainfall, high humidity, thunderstorms and typhoons, placing Kadena in fourth place for the U.S. Air Force’s top bases for corrosive climates.

With a $15 million ADR vehicle on the line, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron chiefs tasked Tech. Sgt. Justin Petty with developing a new cost-effective anti-corrosion program.

Not only did Petty meet their expectations, his success earned the appreciation of Maj. Gen. Timothy Green, the Air Force director of civil engineers in the District of Columbia headquarters.

“The two-star general personally recognized me for coming up with the program,” said Petty.

While Petty did develop the new anti-corrosion program, he acknowledges his Airmen were the ones who made it possible.

“It’s all because of my Airmen, constantly going out there and maintaining the vehicles,” said Petty.

One of those Airmen, Senior Airman Bryan Orozco, 18th LRS mission generating equipment vehicle maintenance journeyman, leads a team to maintain and repair ADR assets on a daily basis.

“This is my first time taking charge in a leadership role of maintaining and exercising these vehicles and teaching other Airmen how to perform these jobs,” said Orozco.

With a current fleet of 117 assets, projected to grow to 257, Orozco and other Airmen have a full-time job executing anti-corrosion measures and maintenance while performing 400 inspections every month.

Fortunately, the Air Force Reserve's 944th LRS, assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., stepped up to help.

“The 944th came at the just right time, helping in the bays and in the yards,” said Petty. “Every single one of them has touched some aspect of ADR.”

The ADR anti-corrosion application process involves taping up, covering parts, spraying, untaping and cleaning surfaces. On average, Airmen spend 28 to 40 hours per vehicle. Their equipment varies in size and complexity from a towing trailer to a full-sized Caterpillar excavator.

“This is a constant battle, but it’s 100% worth it to see the finished product,” said Petty.

That finished product plays a key role in Kadena’s airfield operations capability.

Thanks to Airmen such as Petty and Orozco, ADR assets can deploy at a moment’s notice to repair any damages to runways so that aircrews may continue flying day and night.

Petty takes pride in knowing his hard work played a part in supporting not only Kadena’s mission, but also improving the Air Force’s mission world-wide.

“The reward for me was the learning experience from the countless hours of research and seeing the ADR corrosion program start from nothing and now be recognized and benchmarked throughout the Air Force,” said Petty.