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For the love of music

  • Published
  • By Robert Mehal
  • 363d ISR Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- Collateral Damage, the 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing’s band, has been around since before the wing’s activation. It all started when John Labadan, a wing staff member, requested and received permission to send out an email calling all musicians within the Air Force Targeting Center who wanted to get together to form a band.

A few months after that email, the band prepared for their first gig at the AFTC picnic. Just before the performance, one of the band members expressed hoping they were not so bad that they cause a lot of collateral damage – the name stuck.

Since that first performance, Collateral Damage has continued playing for the wing across JBLE at retirements, farewells, and picnics, often incorporating different band members.

“The two biggest challenges we face are the turnover rate, with people transferring or deploying, and finding a time that everyone can get together to practice,” said Labadan.

Today, the band is in its ninth iteration, but the enthusiasm has not waned.

“The whole impetus was to get musicians together who wanted to learn about the dynamic of being in a band, and of course, to have fun playing music,” said Labadan.

Senior Airman Alexandria Nason, wing staff and band member, joined Collateral Damage shortly after coming to the wing.

“I recall doing my in-brief with the wing commander and having him ask me about myself. Once I said I was a performer, I was introduced to Mr. Labadan and instantly became a member,” said Nason.

Collateral Damage’s current lineup features: Airman 1st Class Adan Rifat, guitarist; John Labadan, bassist; Niklaas Waller, drums; Senior Airman Alexandria Nason, Wendy Pride, and Master Sgt. Jennifer Negley, vocals.

The band continues to try and fit in a once-a-week practice as they work around daily duties. Based on their performance at this year’s annual picnic, they seem ready for their next gig.