Father, daughter share aircraft heritage

USAF photo: Greg Allen Recently promoted Master Sergeant Jennifer Seibt, 73rd Special Operations Squadron, and her father, retired Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 William Seibt, stand in front of an MC-130W Dragon Spear July 30 at Cannon Air Force Base.

By Greg Allen: 27th SOW Public Affairs

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — While many daughters may share similar interests with their fathers, one Cannon NCO easily relates the challenges of her job with an understanding dad. He’s been there and done that.

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 from Hillsboro, Ore., to Cannon 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,” said Seibt, 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 it had not been 20 years since he retired, pointing his finger and saying, “That’s the same, and that’s the same, but over there, that’s different.” 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, Sgt. Seibt 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.”

Sgt. Seibt grew up in a military environment. She was with her dad as he did 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, 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,” said Sgt. Seibt. “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,” said the sergeant.

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.