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Father, Son Deploy Together at ADAB

  • Published
  • By MSgt Dan Heaton
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

 A father-son team from the Maine Air National Guard are serving side-by-side at Al Dhafra Air Base, deployed together as firefighters with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Master Sgt. Eric Campbell and his son, Senior Airman Noah Campbell, are both Airmen with the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor. Together, along with several other Airmen from the Maine ANG, they deployed to Al Dahfra in the late fall for a 6-month deployment.

The father, MSgt. Campbell, was preparing to apply for retirement after 22 years of military service, with his time split between the Air and Army National Guard in Maine. When the word came down about the deployment and that his son, SrA. Campbell, would be making the deployment, the elder Campbell decided to delay retirement and deploy one more time. For the father this is his fifth deployment, it is the first for the son.

“We talked about it and I talked it over with my wife and our command,” MSgt. Campbell said. “There were multiple levels of thought that went in to it. It is more experience for me, an opportunity to serve one last time, but really it was the opportunity to experience this with my son. I mean, how cool is that?”

At Al Dhafra, the two Airmen generally work on the same shift, but at different fire stations so that dad is not in the son’s chain of command and that they have limited interaction during working hours. They have, however, enjoyed some time together while off duty, to include the opportunity to eat Thanksgiving dinner together.

SrA. Campbell said growing up and seeing his dad head off to his National Guard weekends and being in the fire service made serving as a military firefighter “just something I always wanted to do. I see what he’s done and I wanted to take this not just as a job, but something I could make a career out of.”

Since MSgt. Campbell is in an administrative/leadership role with the fire department in this deployment, he sometimes sees his son in action when there is a call.

“On the job, on a call, everyone is a firefighter. You can’t be father and son in those moments. Everyone has a job to do,” the elder Campbell said.

The deployment is not the first time the two have worked together. In addition to both serving as part of the 101st Air Refueling Wing back home, they are both also civilian firefighters, working for the Bangor Air Guard Station.

“I’m hoping to learn a lot here and take that home and just keep going, trying to grow in my career,” SrA. Campbell said.

The dad is confident that will happen.

“Every time I have deployed, I have picked something up, taken something with me that I can apply at home. I am sure that will happen for Noah, as well,” he said.