JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
Thirty-four civilian bosses of Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 433rd Airlift Wing got an opportunity to fly on a C-5M Super Galaxy here, Aug. 3.
The Bosslift event, which was sponsored by the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve program, flew employers from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, to see the mission of another Air Reserve Wing.
Before departing, bosses received a welcome from Col. Terry W. McClain, 433rd Airlift Wing commander, and a mission brief from Maj. Douglas P. Schoenenberger, 68th Airlift Squadron pilot, who also was the flight commander for this flight.
The tour at Tinker began with the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, which is one of the largest units in the Air Force Materiel Command. It employs more than 9,800 military and civilian personnel who perform programmed depot maintenance and modifications on KC-135, B-1B, B-52, E-3, and Navy E-6 aircraft and maintenance, repair, and overhaul for F100, F101, F108, F110, F117, F118, F119, F135, TF33 engines, and a wide variety of commodities for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and foreign military sales.
Charles Hughes, one of the representatives from the complex, who assisted with the tour said, “This is great because it gives us an opportunity to show people what we do here.”
After the tour of the complex, the employers headed over to the 507th Air Refueling Wing to get a close-up look at the KC-135R Stratotanker, a military aerial refueling aircraft.
Col. Miles Heaslip, 507th ARW commander, gave the group a mission brief, and some of the wings’ aircrew members gave them a tour of the refueling aircraft.
“I think it’s important for the employers to see what the service members do when they go to their weekend drills so that the civilian employers know that these Airmen do real honest work,” said Heaslip.
“This Bosslift is eye opening and really put into perspective how much our Reservists contribute to not only their individual units, groups and squadrons, but to our country,” said Honorary Commander Andrea Knight, Frost – Banking, Investments, Insurance assistant vice president/group financial center manager.
After returning to Lackland, employers met with ESGR support staff. Caryl Hill, Texas ESGR, Area 4, San Antonio chair, talked about the purpose of the tour and the and mission of ESGR. Then the bosses were presented with ESGR certificates, indicating that they are now “ESGR Bosslift Veterans.” They were then dismissed to tour work centers with their Reserve Citizen Airmen.
“I think what we saw today was just a small piece of the step in their (our reservists) shoes and I appreciate getting a look through their eyes,” said Ashley McCory, Methodist Texan Hospital director of orthopedics.
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. A network of more than 3,750 volunteers in 54 committees located across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam-CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands supports ESGR.
Volunteers, hailing from small business and industry, government, education, and prior military service, bring a vast wealth of experience to assist in serving employers, service members, and their families. Together with Headquarters ESGR staff and a small cadre of support staff for each state committee, volunteers work to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve.