Brothers in arms
By Senior Airman Justyn Freeman, Air Force Public Affairs Agency / Published January 12, 2015
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) --
Brothers in arms is a common expression among military members, but rarely do actual siblings directly complement each other's contributions to the mission.
At the 388th Fighter Wing, 1st Lt. Sean Rush, a pilot in the 421st Fighter Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Brandon Rush from the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, are doing exactly that.
When it comes to the relationship between aircraft maintainers and pilots, Sean said that it is important to maintain a close, professional relationship with the crew chief, because every day he steps into a jet his life depends on the work done by the maintenance team.
"We definitely joke about pilot versus maintenance," Sean said. "It is a playful rivalry, but we both realize that we 100 percent rely on each other."
Brandon was assigned to Hill AFB in January 2010, after joining the Air Force more than 10 years ago. When he was just a child, he developed an interest in working with his hands, so when he was asked to build his list of job preferences, he filled all five slots with positions that fell in the mechanical career field.
"The opportunity just kind of fell into my lap," Brandon said. "My grandpa was also in the Air Force, so it has always been in our blood."
Sean also followed in his grandfather’s footsteps, taking on the same career field as the former fighter pilot. While studying at Westminister College in Salt Lake City, Sean was simultaneously working toward a commission through the ROTC program at the University of Utah through a crosstown agreement.
"With Brandon going to the Air Force, a lot of things came together that definitely made me want to fly," Sean said. "My brother actually gave me my first salute when I commissioned three years ago, so that was pretty cool."
After completing pilot training, the entire class of graduating pilots is provided a sheet of available bases to choose from based on his or her respective aircraft training.
"There was one slot to Hill and everyone knew I wanted it," Sean said. "I really like Salt Lake City and my wife wanted to go to school at the University of Utah, which she is doing now. With Brandon being here, it was definitely an added bonus."
Brandon's tour at Hill AFB is coming to a close as he recently received orders to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, but the brothers agree their time here together was a rarity and therefore, very rewarding.
"My brother went out to help me launch my first flight here at Hill," Sean said. "I am proud of him and what he has done. Having him be there made it more special for me than your average sortie. For him to launch me and give the salute, that was pretty special."