Face of Defense: Father, Daughter Share Aircraft Heritage
By Greg Allen
27th Special Operations Wing
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., Aug. 6, 2010 While many daughters may share similar interests with their fathers, one noncommissioned officer here relates the challenges of her job with an understanding dad. He's been there and done that.
Then-Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Seibt, and her father, retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Seibt, stand in front of an MC-130W Dragon Spear at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., July 30, 2010. Sergeant Seibt has been a loadmaster for the venerable airframe for seven years. Her father, who came for his daughter's promotion to master sergeant later that day, is a former avionics officer and navigator for C-130 aircraft. U.S. Air Force photo by Greg Allen
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
When retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Seibt learned that his daughter, Jennifer, was going to be promoted from technical sergeant to master sergeant July 30, he made the trip here from Hillsboro, Ore., to share the event with her. As a retired avionics officer for a Coast Guard C-130, he got the opportunity to revisit his old airframe, albeit a 73rd Special Operations Squadron MC-130W Dragon Spear, courtesy of his loadmaster daughter.
"We had a different philosophy in the Coast Guard," he said as he looked at the electronic panels of the aircraft. "I fixed the equipment on the ground and was a navigator in the air."
He recognized most of the electronic panels as if 20 years had not passed since he retired, pointing his finger at various components. "That's the same, and that's the same, but over there, that's different," he said. He then tapped the frame holding the electronic components and said, "This used to be all mine."
After he had satisfied himself with a personal self-inspection, his daughter steered him through the rest of the aircraft, explaining its various configurations and capabilities. When she approached the back of the plane, she waved her hand over the neatly stacked pallets of equipment and announced, "This is all mine."
Sergeant Seibt grew up in a military environment. She was with her dad as he served three tours in Alaska: two in Kodiak, and one in Sitka. She lived in Astoria, Ore., and Elizabeth City, N.C. When her time came to serve, she joined the Air Force. Initially she worked in vehicle operations at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, but has been a loadmaster for the last seven years.
"When I was at Ramstein in vehicle ops, I was told that my personality might be better suited for that of a loadmaster," she said. "I took this as an incentive to crosstrain. I'm glad I did."
She said that perhaps the family tie to flying in airplanes was genetic. Her grandfather was a member of one of the first Army Air Forces units that became today's Air Force.
"He would tell me the stories about when he was a loadmaster during the Berlin Blockade," she said.
Although the two served in different services, their common bond with the venerable C-130 airframe has made their personal relationship grow stronger over the years, the Seibts said.