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U.S. Air Force Major Kurt Bruggeman, 414th Fighter Group, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and U.S. Marine Corps Major Arthur Bruggeman, currently attending the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., pose for a photo after a training mission over Seymour Johnson June 24, 2014. (Courtesy photo)
U.S. Air Force Major Kurt Bruggeman, 414th Fighter Group, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and U.S. Marine Corps Major Arthur Bruggeman, currently attending the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., pose for a photo after a training mission over Seymour Johnson June 24, 2014. (Courtesy photo)


Story by Staff Sgt. Lausanne Kinder, 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Aug. 14, 2014

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- When it comes to the word "wingman," brothers Kurt and Arthur Bruggeman have taken it to a new level.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Kurt Bruggeman, assigned to the 414th Fighter Group at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Arthur Bruggeman, currently attending the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, are both pilots for their respective services.

Coming from a line of family members serving in the military, the torch was passed down to their generation.

"[The military] has just been a part of our life ... the entire time growing up," said Kurt.

At one point, their father and his three sons were all active duty at the same time.

"My brother [Arthur] and I are 11 months apart ... he always wanted to go to the University of Florida, and I was going to go to the [Air Force] Academy," said Kurt, the oldest of three. "We were commissioned within the same six months and started flight school around the same time."

Despite seemingly going their separate ways, after training, deployments and other various tours, in 2004, the brothers were brought back together in North Carolina.

Arthur was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, and Kurt was assigned to Seymour Johnson AFB, which shared the air space.

They have been within "sortie" distance for the past 10 years but they only recently were given the chance to conduct their first flying mission together.

"It worked out, we briefed over the phone and met up in the air space over Seymour Johnson," said Kurt.

Each of the respective formations rendezvoused over Seymour Johnson to support a simulated airfield seizure following a suppression of enemy air defenses using coordinated attacks involving both formations, explained Kurt.

"This particular sortie ... was unique in that as soon as I checked into the air space, I heard my brother's voice over the radio," said Arthur.

Kurt, flying the F-15E, is a formal training course instructor who was conducting an upgrade dynamic targeting sortie, while his brother's two-ship of AV-8 Harriers acted as a forward air controller-air for the scenario.

They conducted multiple simulated attacks maximizing training for everyone involved.

"It provided an upgrade code for an Eagle pilot, CAS [close air support] proficiency for a Harrier Italian exchange pilot, FAC-A currency controls, and opportunity to understand each other's aircraft capabilities and limitations in a simulated combat scenario," said Arthur.

Following the sortie, the two AV-8s landed at Seymour Johnson for a face-to-face debrief prior to their return to Cherry Point.

"It was definitely one of those 'once in a lifetime opportunities,'" said Arthur. "The integration between Air Force and Marine Corps assets was quite seamless due in large part to the standardization of CAS TTPs [tactics, techniques and procedures] over the past few years and the implicit communication that only brothers can share."


Posted by Daniel S. Marciniak
Article originally published at http://www.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123419744