Wednesday, 02 April 2014 22:53

Montana Shop Open to Airmen Working on their Own, Offers Training in Paint and Body Repair

Airmen who enjoy working on their own car, or who don’t want to drive into town to have their car repaired, have a place to go. The Malmstrom Auto Hobby Shop on the Malmstrom, MT, base has many services to offer for military members of any rank, dependents, and retirees.

Some of the services the shop offers are engine diagnostic checks, brake checks, welding and paint booths, and classes on each. There are also three mechanics available at the shop to help airmen with any projects they may have.

“The single airmen program makes it so people can take the welding and auto body paint classes for a low charge,” said Clint Mallory, the auto hobby shop chief.

The welding class is the first Wednesday of the month, and the painting class is the second Wednesday of the month.

“The classes normally start at 5:30 p.m. and end around 8:30 p.m.,” Mallory said. “It all depends on how many questions the class members have. Participants must go to the class for one session before they receive a certification to use the paint and welding booths.”

For those who are interested in a more thorough learning experience on painting, the shop also offers a sixp- to eight-week auto body paint class.

“We have a lot of airmen who come here,” Mallory said. “Once they come in once, they keep coming back. Even though we have a lot of people coming in, I have heard a lot of people say they have never been here before or that they didn’t even know there was an auto shop on base.”

In the shop, people have completed an array of projects for their car.

“We have airmen who have pulled and rebuilt their motors, installed suspension lifts on their trucks, and removed and replaced their transmissions,” Mallory said. “There have also been quite a few little jobs such as putting in freeze plug heaters for their car because it was winter time. In the warmer months, people come in to put on new tires for their car.”

“They supply you with any tool you need,” said airman 1st class Jeremy McNeal, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance apprentice.

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