Tech. Sgt. Joel Putnam, a 94th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief,
left, and his brother, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Putnam, a 94th Maintenance
Squadron aerospace propulsion technician, pose for a photo in front of a
C-130H3 Hercules at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force
photo by Senior Airman Justin Clayvon)
DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) --
Decades ago, a father took his two young sons to the
aviation museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Although the
father might have known it would be a great vacation for his family, he
had no way of knowing the impact the trip would have on his sons’ future
decision to join the Air Force.
“I remember that one of the
airplanes we stopped at, our dad was like, 'look it’s a Hercules,'” said
Staff Sgt. Jeremy Putnam, a 94th Maintenance Squadron jet engine
mechanic here. “We were like that’s really cool and they let us in and
we climbed around in it. I just remember it being so big! And then, lo
and behold, later I’m an engine guy that works on them. We’ve always
been around aircraft and drawn to it.”
Jeremy’s older brother,
Joel Putnam, is a 94th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief at
Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The Putnam brothers come from a family legacy
of military aviators.
“Our dad was in the U.S. Army air cavalry
and he worked on airplanes,” said Jeremy. “That was a big inspiration
for both of us to work on airplanes. We come from a long line of
military aviators. Our grandfather on our dad’s side was in the Air
Force. On our mom’s side, our grandfather was a helicopter crew chief in
the Marines and then Army.”
The brothers’ camaraderie growing
up continued into their adult lives as they worked in the military. Joel
and Jeremy deployed to Qatar and recently participated in Exercise
Swift Response together. Exercise Swift Response is an annual U.S. Army
Europe-led multinational exercise featuring high-readiness airborne
forces from nine nations.
The brothers spoke about their unique
experience of partnering with each other in real world scenarios of
exercises and missions.
“We were doing some reconfigurations for
the Swift Response exercise, changing from one layout in the cargo
department to another,” said Joel. “We were setting up seats for the
Army paratroopers to jump out, and I look up and Jeremy is there helping
“Yeah, I didn’t have anything engine related,
so I jumped on the airplane to help him set up for the configuration,”
Joel highlighted that between the two brothers
they can take care of a whole plane. “We can go on TDY together and he
can do the engine work and I can do the crew chief stuff,” said Joel.
“We can run the plane, we can get it serviced up, gassed and go, or handle any major issues,” added Jeremy.
spoke about completing inspections at Dobbins ARB. When a plane comes
in and is jacked up, as Jeremy works on the motor, Joel will be over in
Jeremy works as an Air Reserve technician full time at
Dobbins ARB. Joel serves as a traditional reservist, frequently working
on orders at Dobbins ARB.
The bond between the brothers carries
into their civilian life as well. The airmen live as roommates and even
produce electronic music and disc jockey together. But their favorite
experience is working together in the military.
“Going out and
doing real world missions together is really cool,” Jeremy said. “When
we grew up playing in the backyard together trying to accomplish
something, or helping dad work on the cars, it was together, and now
being on a much bigger scale, in a bigger family in the Air Force, still
being and working together towards the mission is awesome.”