CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea --The Air Force once operated with Army ground troops in one service component called the Army Air Corps. Then on July 26, 1947, President Harry S. Truman officially established the Air Force, permanently separating the nation's air forces from ground forces. Today we recognize the Army as a force that provides ground forces for the nation while the Air Force's mission is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.
Though the Army Air Corps separated into two distinctly different services, the Army still utilizes rotary and fix wing assets to accomplish its mission. During the 4th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment, and 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade's joint live-fire exercise over water with the 25th Fighter Squadron, green once again reunited with blue in more than one way. While pilots from both services shot missiles into a small island called Jik-Do, two brothers were making their way to see one another. Air Force 1st Sgt. Phillip B. Nissen, with the 8th Fighter Wing, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Scott W. Nissen, a brigade master gunner with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd CAB greeted each other on a bustling runway filled with F-16 fighter jets, A-10 Thunderbolt II jets and AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopters. It would be easy to believe it was fate that these siblings came into contact with each other during the exercise, but on this occasion it was they who seized the moment of opportunity to reunite.
Not only was it a chance for the two brothers to see each other, but also it gave Scott a chance to show off the aircraft he has flown during his career to his little brother. The brothers, originally from Dothan, Ala., come from a family rich with military service. They share a military bond with their siblings, parents and grandparents who all serve or have served in the Army, Air Force and Navy. "We do have a long history of family serving in the military," said Phillip. "It's not something that was forced on them but some stayed longer than others. It's a pretty neat family tradition." Just like any military operation, prior planning is key. "Right before I left on mid-tour to see my family in the states for 30 days, it just so happens that my brother was coming down here to Kunsan Air Base for the hellfire missile shoot," said Phillip referring to the type of missiles the Apache helicopters shoot at the Jik-Do range site. "We coordinated about a month in advance to meet up and he was able to get me and my commander up on a Black Hawk helicopter and I was able to see what he does." Serving is something these brothers take to heart as the duo served a collective, 39 years of service so far. For each of the two brothers their career in the military has a special meaning that is unique for him. "It's made me who I am today," said Scott. "Military values are a great way to mold your life. Everything I have today is because of the military; my wife, my children, my career. Everything I have I can attribute to the Army. Without the Army, I would not have any of this my life would be completely different had I not joined the Army."
"I've always enjoyed serving and giving back," said Phillip. "It's unique to be able to provide for your family doing something you love to do. Freedom comes with a price and the people who wear the uniform understand that." The brothers will soon again part paths as they travel in different directions across the world never forgetting the opportunity and experience they shared in Korea. Scott will leave Korea to work at Fort Rucker, Ala., and his younger brother will leave to work at Raimstein Air Base, Germany this year. "Every once in a while the stars will align and things just work out," said Phillip. "It was a really unique opportunity to be able to be over here, serving our country and provide that service to our country but do it with your big brother sharing BH4L [brother hood for life]."