Twins Unite For Their First Deployment
by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Clinton Atkins
July 5, 2019
Twin brothers assigned to the 407th Expeditionary Logistics
Readiness Squadron, Fuels Distribution Flight, have taken the term
identical to rare heights in the Air Force.
February 23, 2019 - Senior Airmen Jeffrey and Joshua Young, 407th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operators
stand in front of an R-11 fuel truck at Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait. Day and night, there is a Young brother fueling the fight against ISIS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Clinton Atkins)
Senior Airmen Jeffrey and Joshua Young spent their adolescent
years as Navy dependents, following their dad from the United States
to Europe and back again. They lived in places such as Maine,
Massachusetts, Virginia and Sicily, Italy.
When their dad
retired from the Navy, the Young family settled in Brooklyn, Conn.,
to be close to their mom’s side of the family.
turned a love for music into action, starting a band with a few high
school friends. The band dissolved after their first self-produced
album. At 21 years old, they realized something needed to change.
Their dad encouraged them to go into the Air Force.
doing the same old stuff with the same old friends,” said Jeffrey.
“Our dad did 20 years in the Navy, so I’ve always known that I
wanted to put a little time into the service just to do my part.”
After the twins took the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude
Battery test, Jeffrey and Joshua qualified for a long list of jobs,
but their demands were simple. “I want to work with the planes and I
want to leave as soon as possible,” Jeffrey recalled saying to the
Military Entrance Processing Station personnel, who marked them down
as “open mechanic.” For those who don’t know, “open mechanic” means
accepting the first mechanic-classified job that becomes available.
The MEPS personnel told them they actually had two “open
mechanic” slots, to which they both gladly accepted. The twins were
shipped out to Basic Military Training on the same day, and then to
the same training squadron and even the same flight.
BMT, they each learned which job their “open mechanic” slot lead
them to – 2F0X1, Fuels Distribution Operator. As the story goes,
their military training instructor, who came from the same career
field, jokingly said, “Oh God, the twins are in Fuels.”
twins spent a month and a half in technical school at Sheppard Air
Force Base, Texas. When they graduated, their paths diverged.
Jeffrey was assigned to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air
Force Base, Kansas, and Joshua went to the 87th Air Base Wing at
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. The twins crossed paths two
years later. Both brothers received orders to deploy.
reflected on what it was like to live together and apart.
“We got a lot more annoyed when we lived together and then obviously
being in the military and station at separate bases, we didn’t get
to spend time together. We get to play [video games] together and
talk online, but obviously, we don’t see each other every day
anymore. And then after finding out we were coming here, it was
something to look forward to; it was like ‘[heck] yeah,’” said
Joshua was notified in March 2018 about his
deployment to Kuwait and then his brother received a deployment
notification in June 2018, for what he initially thought would be
Qatar, but as fate would have it, turned out to also be Kuwait.
Which brings us to present day.
Jeffrey and Joshua have
been here for two months, working 12-hour shifts six days per week.
There is always a Young on shift, except on their day off. The only
way to know who’s who is to look closely. There is an inch height
difference between the two and they wear different glasses.
They even share the same perspective about their first deployment.
After coming from bases with heavies – a colloquial Air Force term
for large aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135
Stratotanker – the twins consider this deployment an easier duty
than home station.
“Coming from a heavies base and you go out
and fill up two F-16s, that’s 20,000 pounds [of fuel], and you’re
like, ‘That’s it? Alright,’” Joshua said.
Jeffrey said to fill up
a KC-135 back at home base requires 75,000 to 120,000 pounds, which
is much more time consuming. There, he uses an R-12 hydrant truck
that hooks up to an underground pipeline that takes fuel from an
above ground fuel tank.
Nevertheless, as with any deployment,
there are austere conditions including the desert climate, tent
living, and the fact that the bathrooms are in separate buildings.
However, they agreed it’s more rewarding to go through it with a
“You go through real hard times, but you went
through it with somebody,” said Jeffrey. “After you make it through,
you can reminisce. So the benefit of deploying with your twin is
that we’re from the same family and we’ll always go back to the same
place, so forever, for as long as we live, we’re going to have the
shared memories of this deployment.”
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