The duty station of brotherly love

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Saphfire D. Cook
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Joining a military branch of service usually means that one will leave their hometown and move far away from friends and family. But in rare cases, the opposite can occur. Brothers Capt. Eric Fleming and Capt. Michael Fleming, two A-10C pilots with the 357th Fighter Squadron here, were both lucky enough to be stationed with each other.

"We haven't been able to live near each other for the last ten years or so," said Capt. Michael Fleming, 357th FS student pilot. "So for us to be able to work together now is a great opportunity."

The Fleming brothers grew up near Willow Grove Naval Air Station, Pa. where they first encountered the A-10C aircraft.

"We loved planes as kids," said Capt. Eric Fleming, 357th FS assistant director of operations. "Going to the air shows and seeing the demonstrations is what first planted the pilot seed in our minds."

Capt. Eric Fleming joined the Air Force as a pilot in 2002, with his younger brother Michael following in his footsteps three years later.

"I always had an interest in the military, but didn't know what career field I wanted to pursue," Capt. Michael Fleming said. "So I think watching Eric begin his career as a pilot definitely helped me reach a decision."

Together at D-M for almost a year now, the brothers flew their first sortie together Aug 3, with Capt. Eric Fleming training Capt. Michael Fleming.

"This will be the first time he gets to shoot the gun and drop some BDUs," Capt. Eric Fleming said "Hopefully I will get to as well, and we can see who has the better score."

Military service has become a trend in the Fleming family.

"We also have a sister in the Air Force three years behind Michael, so our family is pretty spread out," said Capt. Eric Fleming. "For my brother and I to end up in the same squadron is almost unheard of so we're very lucky."