November 1, 2013 (by SrA Grace Lee) - It's brightly painted in red and white and definitely one of a kind.
RSAF F-16D block 52 #96-5034 from the 425th FS has a painted tail flash applied by the personnel from the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron corrosion control section commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Air Force partnering with Luke AFB in training fighter pilots. [USAF photo by SrA. Grace Lee]
Airmen from the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron painted a mural on the tail of a 425th Fighter Squadron F-16 fighter jet to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore
Air Force partnering with Luke Air Force Base in training fighter pilots.
"This mural is important because it reminds us of our mission here in Arizona, which is to make full use of every opportunity and resource available or as our saying goes, 'to conduct high-end training,'" said Lt. Col. Maxmillion Goh, 425th Fighter Squadron RSAF
senior ranking officer. "It also celebrates the 20 years of partnership and excellence that Peace Carvin II has enjoyed. We couldn't have done it without the many friendships forged between our airmen, maintainers and the local community. We are truly grateful for these wonderful relationships and the continuous support of the wing's leadership throughout the years."
Each component in the design of the tail flash has a meaning.
"The Merlion, which has the head of a lion and body of a fish, is an important symbol to Singapore as a country," said Tech. Sgt. Bradley Watanabe, 56th EMS corrosion control NCO
in charge. "And the words, 'Peace Carvin II,' refers to the name of the Republic of Singapore Air Force's detachment at Luke."
Painting the tail requires sanding, spraying a coat of primer, applying the first color and repeating the process after each component is stenciled on, Watanabe said. The last step is spraying a protective clear coat over the design.
While the main mission of the fabrication flight's corrosion control section is to prevent corrosion on aircraft, being involved in such a rare project was an honor, said Senior Master Sgt. Barrington Bartlett, 56th EMS fabrication flight chief.
"We're proud to be part of this project," Bartlett said. "We've had a great relationship with the Republic of Singapore Air Force over the past 20 years, and we want to continue that partnership. This is the first time Luke has painted a mural such as this on an F-16 tail."