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349 AMW & ESGR host 2023 “Boss Lift”

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Daniel Peterson
  • 349th Air Mobility Wing

The 349th Air Mobility Wing teamed up with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to sponsor a Boss Lift for Reserve Citizen Airmen’s employers at Travis Air Force Base, April 1, 2023. 

The ESGR Boss Lift event is an opportunity for reservists to share a military experience with their civilian employers, so they have a better understanding of their airmen’s combat-ready mobility commitment.

“The Boss Lift is one of our biggest programs to educate our Airmen’s employers,” said Aretha Chandler, ESGR military outreach director. “It’s a way of opening their eyes to what their employee is doing when they’re gone.”

Team Travis reservists took the opportunity to nominate their supervisors, and ESGR coordinated with the 349 AMW to arrange flight tours on two KC-10A Extenders and a C-17 Globemaster. There were 34 employers, and several Airmen, who experienced a day in the life of Travis aircrew and their mission.

The event kicked off with a complimentary breakfast, followed by opening remarks from Col. Terry McGee, 349 AMW vice commander. Crew members briefed the passengers about safety and details on each airframe before departure.

“Today was very educational. It helped me appreciate what my employee does and the sacrifices he makes,” said Kimberly Vaquera, GenesisCare USA regional director of operations. “He holds a big role with us. I feel the impact with him being gone. But being here today gives me a greater appreciation.”

Vaquera thoroughly enjoyed the views from the KC-10's boom pod as it connected with a second aircraft over the Pacific coastline. Many employers shared in their excitement over the sights from the cockpit and boom pod, as well as the time spent with the aircrew.

“I enjoyed the entire experience but loved going up to the cockpit and seeing the pilots in action, all the crew were so professional,” said Leticia A. Lopez-Reynoso, Defense Logistics Management Agency quality specialist team supervisor. “I believe an experience like this always lets you realize how important our service persons are.”

Most importantly, the Boss Lift connected employers with their employees by stepping into their shoes.

“I had the opportunity to learn more about my team member’s service and got to experience a little bit of what his role entails,” said Allison Pfaendler, incident management assistance team lead with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Pfaendler revealed her father is a pilot and was jealous to hear she had the opportunity to fly in a military aircraft. She took full advantage of her time in the KC-10A cockpit and boom pod by taking photos to share with him.

The overall event was a huge success due to the combined contributions of the 349 AMW Airmen and ESGR staff. 

“Everyone talked about how helpful my team was and how well the team communicated with them. I just thought it was great,” Chandler said. “I am glad anytime they come off the plane and everybody’s smiling.”