AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --
Editor’s Note: This is three of a three part series about family members deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar together.
As children, many boys aspire to be like their fathers, or at minimum make their father’s proud, which could manifest as good grades or being a star athlete; however, one senior airman took it a step further by following in his father’s footsteps and joining the U.S. Air Force.
Senior Airman Joshua Camp, 379th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and his father, also 379th EAMXS, Staff Sgt. Matthew Camp, an aero repair crew chief, are both currently deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
The pair both joined the Air Force due to a love of aviation.
“I fell in love with aviation at a young age, so following in my father’s footsteps seemed like a great way to fall deeper into the world of aviation,” said Joshua. “This also gives me a decent way to pay for college.”
Natives of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the family members are both Air National Guard and stationed at the 127th Wing, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Michigan. At their stateside unit, the 191st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, both work as crew chiefs in their respective fields. Both have been deployed to Al Udeid AB since April 2020.
As a crew chief, stateside and deployed, Joshua’s overall responsibility is to ensure the aircraft he’s assigned to is ready to fly. During a shift, his primary duty is to accomplish basic maintenance on the aircraft, which usually consists of recovering, inspecting and refueling the KC-135 Stratotanker. His father, Matthew, is responsible for maintaining and repairing any flight control rigging, component removal and replacement, and resolving any landing gear issues on the KC-135.
Matthew stated, that the best part of being deployed together is seeing his son working the mission.
“It’s cool to see him be challenged in ways he may, or may not have, expected and to see him rise to the challenges,” he said.
He also said, that even though they are deployed together timing to see each other doesn’t always work out.
“We are in different shops and on different schedules, so we don’t see each other much outside of work. I also don’t want to be in his space too much with his first deployment.”
Even though, the pair don’t get to see each other often after work they get plenty of time together on the flight line.
“Working with him on joint shop aircraft launches makes for a lot of fun interactions with aircrew, especially aircrew from our base as having us both on the same launch seems unusual,” said Joshua. “We make it amusing to try to confuse coworkers that we are or are not related. It can lead to some decent laughs.”
Both stated that being deployed can be tough, but having someone who has your back makes it a lot easier.
“It’s cool to have someone in the family to interact with easily while the world at home is in such a rough shape,” Joshua explained.
Matthew continued with, “It helps a lot having good support from home. My wife has been really strong while having us both gone.”
When asked if being in the Air Force together has made their bond stronger, Matthew said.
“I feel like it. It’s like I raised my own Wingman.