MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Civilian employers of Air Force Reservists, and members of the state Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve committee, took flight aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker for a firsthand look at an air-to-air refueling mission during the 927th Air Refueling Wing Bosslift at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., on Jan. 11, 2020.
These employers were participants in a Florida ESGR and Reserve ‘Boss Lift’ or also known as ‘Employer Flight’ coordinated with the 927th Air Refueling Wing.
The employers began the day with a briefing from wing leadership and ESGR followed by a ride on a KC-135 Stratotanker when they witnessed air-to-air refueling.
“Thank all of you for taking time away from your day to experience what your employees do during the Unit Training Assembly weekend,” said Col. Douglas Stouffer, commander, 927th Air Refueling Wing. “It is important that we teach you about the reserve mission so you have a greater understanding of just how integral your employee is to that.”
Once the briefing concluded, it was then time for the employers to board the flight where they would receive one last safety briefing from the flight crew.
Witnessing an up-close and personal air refueling was a first-time experience for most of the employers, but for one, sitting in the boom pod was an altogether new sensation. For Major Calvin Johnson, District Commander of the Tampa Police Department district three, the flight made him more appreciative of the Airmen at MacDill.
“Today was really insightful,” said Johnson. “I am grateful for this opportunity to come out to MacDill and gain an in-depth view into the reserve mission here. My favorite part of the trip was seeing just how precise the boom operators have to be in order for the refueling to be successful, I was blown away.”
After the flight, employers then met with their employees to get a direct glimpse at the workstation of their employees where the event then concluded.
“It meant a lot for not just my employer to see what we do here but for others as well,” said Arthur Harrison, 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron aviation resource manager. “This event helps the employers to better understand some of the things we as Airmen do when we’re out doing our annual tour time or during UTA weekend.”
The 927 ARW would like to send a special thanks to the employers participating: Tampa Bay Sports Care Providers, Johnson Brothers of Florida, BB&T Bank, FBC Mortgage, Pilot Bank, Northwestern Mutual, Bayfront Health, United States Postal Service, STEMRAD, Orlando Health, Champs Sports, Tampa Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Lakeland Police Department, United Airlines, Palm Beach County Fire Department, Florida Aquarium, Diamond Resorts, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Progressive Insurance, Toro, and the City of Alamonte Springs.