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NEWS | Jan. 16, 2013

Everyone has a story: A Langley legacy

By Senior Airman Kayla Newman 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In 1982, the U.S. Air Force that welcomed Airman 1st Class Anthony Brooks to the family was drastically different from today. Thirty years ago, the Air Force was flying F-15 Eagles, there was the rank of buck sergeant and Strategic Air Command was in place. Now, at 65 years old, the Air Force has the F-22 Raptor, Air Combat Command and approximately 350, 000 less active-duty personnel.

In 1982, the 27th Air Maintenance Unit became the first home of Airman 1st Class Anthony Brooks. Thirty years later, the 27th AMU also welcomed his son, Airman 1st Class Gabriel Brooks.

"The United States Air Force is so big," said Airman Brooks. "It was such a coincidence that I got stationed at the same place that was my father's first duty station."

The 27th AMU is the oldest fighter squadron in the Air Force, and is tasked with providing air superiority for the United States and allied forces. Since arriving at Langley in July 1975, the squadron has been deployed to many locations throughout the world, including Canada, Egypt and the Netherlands, along with supporting Operations Desert Storm and Shield. With such a rich history, it is easily understandable why Airman Brooks is proud to serve with the unit.

"With my father being here, and now me, it seems to form some kind of legacy," said Airman Brooks. "This is the oldest AMU in the Air Force, so it instills pride within me to be a part of it."

Although father and son were both a part of the 27th AMU, both the Brooks specialized in different aircraft-creating a friendly rivalry. Airman Brooks serves as an avionics systems specialist on the F-22 Raptor, whereas his father was a crew chief on the F-15 Eagle.
"We always get at each other," said Airman Brooks. "About who has the better job or who is smarter; but at the end of the day, we were both a part of the same team."

Anthony Brooks said he is very proud of his son for choosing the Air Force, as well as his own choice to join the service 30 years ago.

From the time he was an Airman, Anthony believed the Air Force looked after its Service members-treating them like family.

"I would not be who I am today without the Air Force," explained Anthony. "There is nothing I can think of that I would have done differently in the military. I hope my son gets to feel the same when it is all said and done."

With rapidly advancing technology, Anthony advises his son to stay up-to-date with all aspects of his job.

"I tell my son to be a sponge," said Anthony. "Learn as much as you can about your job and as fast as you can."

Anthony's advice does not fall on deaf ears. Airman Brooks has already expressed that his goal in the near future is to make senior airman below the zone, as well as staff sergeant within four years- following in the footsteps of his family.

"This has become a family tradition," Airman Brooks said. "I'm third-generation Air Force. My grandfather was in; my father was in and now so am I. This is who we are."