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Behind the Lines: Painting planes a patriotic duty


People recognize the grayish-blue of Air Force aircraft around the world.

Many of those planes get their trademark color inside hangars at Robins Air Force Base.

The people in the Corrosion Control shop call it their patriotic duty to put a top notch coat of paint on every plane.

Inside Building 89, the hands of a 20-man crew fly over, around, and under the body of a C-130 aircraft.

Its makeover in the paint shop is the last stop before she returns from maintenance to duty.

"We take a lot of pride in making sure the plane does look good," says painter Tim Davis.

Davis compares it to an industrial-sized arts and crafts operation replete with stencils and an armory of paint. However, the job lacks the safety of an 8x10 canvas and brush strokes.

"It can be a very dangerous process," says Terry Lowe.

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Robins Hosts Clergy Summit


Robins Air Force Base Chaplains say 17 civilian workers have committed suicide since 2009. Five of them occurred last year.

That's one of the main reasons the chaplains and base leadership put together the first ever clergy summit. About 70 clergy from different faiths and denominations gathered at the Museum of Aviation Thursday. Air Force Chaplains can help military members in spiritual matters, but by federal law, they can't provide support to civilian workers. To fill in the gap, Robins Chaplain Jonathan Wade says they want to inform community clergy about stresses facing Robins employees.

Reverend Scott Petersen from All Saints Episcopal Church welcomes the opportunity to help.

Behind the Lines: Robins Public Health


The men and women of Robins Air Force Base protect our freedoms, but to fight, they have to be fit.

13WMAZ went "Behind the Lines" with Robins' Public Health Division to see how they battle disease at home and abroad.

SSgt. Tam Nguien's weapons fit in the palm of his hand. He's a technician in the Immunization Clinic.

The shots he gives to patients numerous times a day fight illnesses that could attack even Robins' most fragile civilians.

When we visited the clinic, he was giving routine immunizations to six-month old Autumn Storie. She's the daughter of a Robins airman, Matt Storie.

Nguien said to the Stories, "See. She did good. She stopped crying."

The routine injections against tetanus and whooping cough, like Autumn received, protect airmen and their families at home.

Gen. Lindsley takes hands-on approach


Some bosses prefer to orchestrate employees from the four walls of their office, but not Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley.

The commander of 7,000 mechanics, engineers and software developers at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, prefers being a man among his people.

Lindsley talked about his style, and why he believes it's getting results.

Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley wanted to schedule his interview with 13WMAZ in his office, but not because it's where he feels most at home.

He said, "I want to make myself accessible. I'm not accessible up here."

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Robins Commander: 'We're seeing positive trends'


The current leader of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex says he intends to drive the work and people there toward "legendary" status.

Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley took the helm in August, coming in as Robins implemented a new way of producing aircraft.

Lindsley's predecessor, Brig. Gen. Cedric George, implemented it as part of an Air Force wide directive to streamline aircraft maintenance.

Robins old way of doing business had it lagging behind maintenance depots at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and Hill in Utah for doing the work on-time.

That's considered a drawback to Robins' ability to keep and attract work.

Lindsley said, "We were taking in six jets and only producing three jets. As you can imagine, the math doesn't add up, and pretty soon, I have twice as many as I am supposed to."

Robins Chaplains support people of all faiths


The United States military fights for our freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms and freedom to worship as we choose.

The Chaplain Corps at Robins Air Force Base protects that religious freedom at home and abroad through ministry.

They defend the right to worship freely, even if other airmen's views conflict with their own beliefs.

At the Robins Air Force Base tree lighting ceremony in early December, you would not have heard utterances of '"Seasons Greetings", no mentions of "holiday trees" or talk about celebrations of a "winter solstice".

That gathering of the troops, complete with hymns and prayers, was undeniably Christian.

Robins-union relationship 'Improving'


The number of grievances filed by Robins employees during the past year have stayed roughly the same.

That's despite pledges by the new union leadership to decrease the number of formal complaints alleging workplace violations at Robins.

However, union leaders and base management say those numbers don't tell the full story of their improving relationship.

Executive Vice President at the American Federation of Government Employees Local 987, Charles Howard, has been a union member for 15 years.

He says since the new administration took office last November, their way of doing business has changed. (The new administration officially took over in March. Irregularities were found in the first election, so a second was held in the spring, with the same results.)