Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst


USAF Track & Field Will Keep Winning

By Tech. Sgt. Austin Knox | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | July 11, 2017


 “Who wouldn’t want USA emblazoned across their chest?” exclaims Staff Sgt. Emesh Fernando, 321st Contingency Response Squadron air transportation supervisor and USAF Track and Field coach, as he explains what it feels like to compete at the world level for the Air Force.

The USAF Track and Field team recently won the men’s and women’s team championships at the 2017 NATO Allied Air Command Inter-Nation Athletics Championship. Air forces from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands took part in the competition.

“This marks the first time for a double team-win in the competition’s history,” said Fernando.

The biennial event is a tradition of spirited competition established by the Second Allied Tactical Air Force more than 30 years ago. It provides an opportunity for NATO nations to demonstrate their commitment to sports and teamwork, while reinforcing respect and goodwill.

Fernando is passionate about running.  If it wasn’t for a work-related injury, that crushed his leg between a 9,000-lb. pallet and a C-17 loading ramp, he would have been competing at the Inter-National Championships.

“The doctors told me I would never run again,” admits Fernando.

He ran a half marathon four days later…and took fourth place. Fernando is not a quitter. He attributes that to a good coach when he was young.

“I wanted to quit when I was in Junior High,” recalls Fernando. “I was so bad that I got laughed off the track, but I had a great coach that wouldn’t let me quit. I want to pay that sentiment forward. I want to promote the sport and help other people achieve their aspirations. There are so many Airmen that have the potential on this base, and throughout the Air Force.”

Those interested can visit

621st Air Force Sports air force track and field contingency response wing