AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --
For two Airmen at Al Udeid, the term “Brothers in Arms” took on new meaning after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.
John and Christopher Beckett, two brothers with the Arizona National Guard, were inspired by the patriotic response of U.S. citizens in the wake of the attacks. Together, they decided to “do their part” in 2003, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Now, more than 15 years later, their paths continue to line up, deploying together to Al Udeid as “Dirt Boyz” for the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron.
“Having a brother here is comforting … it’s that piece of home,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Beckett, 379th ECES heavy equipment section chief. “I know his work ethic and I know his personality. We’ve worked together for 16 years in the military. He’s someone I can definitely depend on.”
During their careers, the brothers have participated in various missions across the globe including constructing an orphanage in Europe, delivering food and water to a Navajo reservation, and training alongside members of the Royal Air Force.
John, 379th ECES project lead, said Christopher’s civilian career as a police officer lends itself to military success.
“He’s been a field training officer. He deals with a lot of details when it comes to reports, things that translate in a managerial type of field,” he said. “He’s good at communicating with people.”
Christopher agreed that Jon’s experience in maintenance and his current Air Force job in civil engineering are a perfect fit.
“My brother has a mechanical background and being a heavy equipment mechanic goes hand-in-hand with this career field being a dirt boy,” Christopher said. “What he brings to the table is his knowledge in being able to fix equipment and do preventive maintenance correctly. He keep things running to keep that mission going. That’s definitely something he brings to the table and that’s a huge vital piece.”
While the two brothers try to keep their relationship professional, John said their competitive sibling relationship helps propel them forward toward their military goals.
“We run the 5-kilometer runs together and sometimes I try to get ahead of him … but he passes me,” he said. “We push each other on professional military education. He’s working on Senior NCO [professional military education] and I’m working on NCO PME.”
“It’s competitive, and it’s always been that way,” Christopher added.
The two brothers agreed that they use their established relationship as a foundation for other Airmen who pass through the heavy equipment shop.
“We try to bring them into our family,” said Master Sgt. Beckett. “Because we know each other’s real strengths and weaknesses we can tap into that and help guide our Airmen.”