News | March 24, 2017

Father and son train together

By Airman 1st Class Cody Dowell Altus Air Force Base Public Affairs

Altus Air Force Base trains new aircrew members every day, but on March 17, 2017, a father and son were reunited during a training mission together, 21,000 feet in the air.

U.S. Air Force Col. Craig Peters, 940th Air Refueling Wing commander, piloted a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker and had the chance to refuel a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, which his son, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brendin Peters, 317th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, was training in.

“The whole event was by chance,” said Craig Peters. “I have been trying to get this course done for the past eight months and my son was just picked up last minute.”

Craig Peters did not expect that morning he would be training with his son, but nevertheless it was a special moment for them to share.

“I always assumed we would get this opportunity, but we didn’t get word about it until the morning of the training,” said Craig Peters. “This truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to do this. I was proud knowing that he was in the other aircraft doing his job. When I first came to Altus AFB back in 1991, he wasn’t even born and now we are both training here and that’s remarkable.”

For Brendin Peters, being in the sky with his father was just another day of training.

“Flying next to him wasn’t really different,” said Brendin Peters. “It didn’t faze me with him being in the other aircraft because I grew up with him always being around me and this was just another one of those times.”

For Brendin Peters’ entire life, he moved from base to base since his father has been serving in the Air Force and that rubbed off on him.

“I always wanted to join the Air Force,” said Brendin Peters. “Growing up around it, my dad definitely imbedded the Air Force patriotism on me. I told my dad that I eventually wanted to end up on the C-17. I enjoyed the Charleston area when my dad was stationed there and having the C-17 there too is a win-win.”

Ultimately, joining the Air Force was Brendin Peter’s decision, but his father would have supported him not matter what he did.

“I always told my sons to do whatever made them happy, but Brendin has always had an affinity towards airplanes and flying,” said Craig Peters. “He had a chance to go to pilot training, but he enjoys being a loadmaster so much he would rather do that then fly the aircraft himself.”

For Craig Peters seeing his son come this far in his career and continuing his dream, is a special moment.

“I couldn’t help but get choked-up because what we do gives you that sense of patriotism and pride,” said Craig Peters. “To think that your son or daughter is involved with you in a situation like this is a special feeling. The whole thing is overwhelming if you think about it in depth. We were both 21,000 feet in the air and only 10 feet apart doing two different jobs for the Air Force.”

Both Craig Peters and Brendin Peters have each come a long way in their USAF careers and this training was just another stepping stone.

“April will be my 33-year mark in the military and six and a half of those were being enlisted,” said Craig Peters. “The KC-135 is the fourth aircraft I’ve flown with the Air Force, so it’s been a remarkable journey to this point. Brendin is already on his second aircraft, the C-17, so he is following in my footsteps with transitioning to several aircrafts.”

“With my Air Force career, I definitely feel that I’m carrying on his legacy,” said Brendin Peters. “I started out on the C-5 Galaxy and now I’m on the C-17 just like he was.”

The legacy of flying high has definitely been passed down from father to son and with the training they received at Altus AFB, not only are they strengthening their capabilities but also the bond they share as father and son.