Rust Proof Lockers Have Real Teeth for Air Force Dive School

By Stuffey | February 5, 2020

By land, by air and by sea, the United States Military is a force with which to be reckoned – always. Going full-throttle comes as second nature; it’s a necessary element given the importance of the missions at hand. Given every branch’s commitment to going all in all the time, it comes as no surprise that even the storage equipment used by enlisted men and women can take a pounding. With that in mind, having storage product options that can readily stand up to that tenacity is a way for even those items to “prove their mettle.”


For one particular installation – an Air Force Special Forces dive school – experience was a good teacher. After having a new set of powder-coated personal lockers installed for its instructors and students, the unit’s resource manager discovered a flaw after just a couple of years. The corrosive effects of salt water had an adverse impact: they began to rust. In the search for a replacement, they chose to partner with Patterson Pope, who recommended the SharkCages as a smart alternative.

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Another kind of metal that’s of the utmost importance in the storage industry is galvanized steel. Its inherent toughness and ability to stand up to even the corrosive effects of salt water make it the ideal material with which to construct SharkCages. Once selected, the military unit’s resource manager worked with Patterson Pope to configure the lockers into two different sizes – one for instructors, and one ideal for both students and other supplies.

“The customer is so invested in the success of the solution, they naturally want to make sure that they get exactly what they want and need. That was certainly true here,” said Jane Glass-Waldron, the Patterson Pope sales representative who worked on the project. “No matter the project, the more collaborative the approach, the more successful the end result. That kind of collaborative investment is valuable.”


A Targeted Locker Solution

The galvanized steel SharkCages were specially configured to create 65 lockers. Some are dedicated for personnel and their dive gear, and some are dedicated to other items. Collectively, that includes SCUBA tanks, regulators, waterproof backpacks, lines, masks and fins, electronic equipment, emergency recall and medical equipment and general supplies.

“The corrosive nature of the saltwater had an adverse effect on equipment, clothing, and gear. It deteriorated the bottom of the lockers and that created sharp edges, which were also dangerous for our students,” said the dive school instructor and resource manager. “What’s more, the lockers themselves were falling apart. The galvanized steel of the SharkCages is far more rust-resistant. These new ones are also installed in such a way as to be completely even, eliminating door sticking and other misalignment issues.”


“The SharkCages come with a 20--year no-rust warrantee,” noted Glass-Waldron. “That kind of sturdiness, flexibility and longevity made them the ideal choice for this application.”

“Patterson Pope did a great job of involving us at every stage of the design,” added the resource manager. “We had input on the product, the layout of the space and everything. That was great. These lockers were custom built for us. We got exactly what we wanted.”

In this case, the manager noted that the top three benefits of the SharkCage lockers were security, improved ventilation when compared to standard lockers, and the long-term durability. “We can be a little tough on things around here, so the added strength was critical to have,” he said.

And if other military units are considering upgrading their own spaces?

“Make sure your space is well planned and correctly measured,” he said. “You want make sure the equipment you decide on is going to fit into your existing footprint. Be sure you’re maximizing your available space. I’ve been around the military for a long time, and for me, the quality of the [SharkCage] product has been outstanding. Maybe the best I’ve ever seen.”

SharkCages an ideal solution for divers? Who would’ve thunk it?

To learn more about this project check out the Case Study.


About Stuffey

To say that Stuffey was made for this role would be an understatement. A life long hoarder, Stuffey understands how the Laws of Stuff can wreak havoc in the real world of an organization’s space. Now as part of his reformation, he is committed to passing on to you his secrets in our battle against the tyranny of STUFF.

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