Holloman's GCS yard gets an artistic upgrade

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Under Col. Houston Cantwell, 49th Wing commander’s initiative, Holloman’s Ground Control Station yard is undergoing an artistic upgrade.

This upgrade, beginning as a project in October 2016, has led to the creation of 12 decals and application of 10 decals on the yard’s GCSs. 

The decals, created in the spirit of World War II nose art, are used to raise morale among Holloman’s Airmen.

“The purpose of the GCS nose art is to enhance unit pride and add to the heritage and traditions of the United States Air Force,” said Capt. Mark West, 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron officer in charge. “The designs for the decals are extremely diverse but they all represent the Airmen, mission, units and aircraft of the 49th Wing in some way.”

The decals were designed and submitted by several Airmen from both the 49th Operations and Maintenance Group.  

“Maj. Carson Heier from the 16th Training Squadron solicited aircrew to submit art for the 49th OG and I solicited maintainers to submit art for the 49th MXG,” West said. “The best submissions were selected by squadron commanders from ops and maintenance, and the hand-drawn images were converted to digital format and further refined by public affairs. Once the images were converted to a digital format, they were given to technicians in the 49th Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight to manufacture the decals.”

The 49th MXS fabrication flight possesses a sticker machine that is capable of producing large, high-quality stickers. Senior Airman Robert Rocha, 49th MXS sheet metal technician, spent a month refining and printing the decals.

“My role was to sharpen up the images, get them in the correct circle format, add some flavor to them, and make sure they were good to go,” Rocha said. “I had to put them on our computer, put them on a graphics program to edit and resize them--that was really the hardest part; getting them to come out clear at a two-by-two foot size. Then, I printed them out and applied them to the GCSs.”

With each new GCS that arrives, there will be a new decal created where Airmen supporting the Remotely Piloted Aircraft enterprise have an artistic representation that shows their strength. 

"Every time I see door art, I smile,” said Maj. Joseph, 29th Attack Squadron director of operations. “Those pictures tell our story, often in ways that are unique to our mission and our aircraft."