Military Coatings Mission Accomplished


Seven historic U.S. Army vehicles will greet this Veterans Day restored to their former glory, thanks to a massive volunteer effort by contractors and suppliers across the coatings industry.

Working together under the leadership of Vulcan Painters CEO David Boyd, industry companies nationwide donated crews, equipment, materials and services to paint the collection of armor and cavalry vehicles.

The tanks will be displayed at the National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation's 30-acre museum at the new Maneuver Center of Excellence in Ft. Benning, GA.

The museum will house the lineage, history and heritage of the U.S. Army's Armor and Cavalry Force. The center will highlight unit organization and bring to life the history and heritage of U.S. soldiers.

The army's collection of tanks and other artifacts will be displayed in the new museum, which will also have space for education and research and a repository for 200 years of archival records and documents.

Dedication and Display

The tanks were moved last week to Pattons' Park and will be dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

A total of nine armored vehicles from World War II to the present, including the seven painted in this volunteer effort, will be displayed along a walking trail at the museum.

The coatings work was done to the military's specifications for the tanks. David Boyd, CEO of Vulcan Painters in Bessemer, AL, planned the project. He estimates the labor and materials donated were between $125,000 to $150,000. The project first called for volunteers in April.

The entire museum project is being funded by private sources and has an estimated cost of $50 million to $60 million.

Donations Pour In

"What a great industry we have!" said Boyd. "I can't thank the contractors, suppliers, and equipment manufacturers enough for a job well done.

"Every man and woman involved expressed the same attitude toward this project—we were all proud to play a small part in taking our expertise in the industrial painting field and giving something back to those who have served for us. Helping preserve the artifacts that are memories for so many American service men and women and their families was an honor."

Vulcan Painters built containments and contributed supervision, tools, equipment and fuel, so the volunteer contractors were ready to get to work upon arrival. The company's Cory Allen was project manager, and Reggie Clements painted.

Andy Steinman of Corrosion Specialties pitched in by securing donations of drums, abrasive and solvent.

Vulcan Painters

Numerous companies donated labor, paint and other materials to complete seven tanks.

The Sherwin-Williams Company and U.S. Coatings provided paint; supplies poured in from Carboline, Chlor*Rid International Inc., RPB Safety LLC, Mohawk Industries, Axxiom Manufacturing, Eagle Industries, Stewart Supply, Sunbelt Rentals, and United Rentals.

The companies donated everything: scaffolding, safety equipment, industrial vacuums, testing and reporting equipment, and more.

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades sent a painter for the full duration of the project (about two months). Other volunteer crews came from:

  • Main Industries of Hampton, VA (crew of three);
  • Abhe & Svoboda Inc., of Jordan, MN (crew of five);
  • Coatings Unlimited Inc., of St. Louis, MO (crew of three);
  • Thomas Industrial Coatings Inc. of Pevely, MO (crew of three); and
  • Champion Painting of Miami, FL (crew of two).

Len Dyer, director of the Armor and Cavalry Museum, and restoration mechanic Frank Albano at the Museum Restoration Shop at Ft. Benning also helped with the project. The Museum Restoration Shop lent a compressor and forklift and helped with shipping containers and storage.

Rick Young, executive director of the National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation, said, "The [foundation] would like to thank all of the companies and individuals that made this project a success. It was a great display of patriotism, pride and professionalism that led to the preservation of the American armor history through the restoration of these vehicles.

"We are truly humbled by the generous support for this project and appreciate your dedication to your profession. The excellence displayed by all involved speaks volumes for your industry as a whole."


Tagged categories: Contractors; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; North America; Paint application; Preservation; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Surface preparation; Tanks; U.S. Army

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