Local employers get up close with Pease air refueling mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Timothy Huffman,
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

Representatives from local employers had the opportunity to fly aboard 157th Air Refueling Wing KC-46A aircraft during an air refueling mission, May 24.

Approximately 25 civilian employers participated in the incentive flight, commonly called a boss lift, alongside the New Hampshire Air National Guardsmen they employ as civilians.

The boss lift, the first the unit conducted aboard one of its KC-46 aircraft, was arranged through the NH Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency within the Department of Defense with the mission of strengthening relationships between civilian employers and the reserve and guard members they employ.

Following a welcoming remarks from 157th Air Refueling Wing leadership, the group was split in half and then boarded two KC-46s. The jets took off from the Pease runway, one after the other, and crews spent the duration of the flight practicing air refueling operations; a KC-135 assigned to the 914th Air Refueling Wing, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York, also participated in the mission.

The employers took turns cycling through the cockpit and the refueling pod throughout the aerial refueling portion of the flight, observing as the pilots and boom operators received and offloaded fuel.

Lynda Miller, who represented her local company on the flight, said the whole day was excellent and gave her a better appreciation for the work her employees do when they are on duty with the National Guard.

“I’m proud that my company is a good supporter of the National Guard,” said Miller. “Our employees who serve are really disciplined, hard workers, who are really good at what they do. They are smart, smart folks.”

According to James Moody, the NH ESGR vice chair, the flight was an opportunity to reward employers who are already supporting their members’ service in the Guard but also give them a better appreciation of what their employees do when their military job pulls them away from civilian life.

“Without employers, the reserve components would be much smaller,” said Moody, who likened service in the Guard to a three-legged stool made up of family, military service, and civilian employment. “If one isn’t there, it falls over.”