Grissom hosts ESGR boss lift

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Blocker
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

For some reservists asking for time off from civilian jobs can be a daunting task, but a collaboration between the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Grissom, Fort Wayne and Terre Haute units is designed to make that task easier to do.

The 434th Air Refueling Wing, 122nd Fighter Wing, and 181st Intelligence Wing partnered with the Indiana ESGR on Aug. 27, 2021 to show Hoosier employers what their Reservist or Guardsman does when not working with them.

In all, 29 employers visited the base for briefings, static displays and a flight aboard a KC-135R Stratotanker to view an aerial refueling.

The employers were nominated directly by their service member to attend the event.

“Because of COVID, we took extra precaution to keep people safe,” said Doug Hays, chief of public affairs.

Everyone who attended had been vaccinated or had proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event.

The boss lift program is designed to allow employers see their employees perform their military duties.

Employers supporting the 434th ARW, 122nd FW at Fort Wayne Air National Guard Station, Indiana and 181st IW at Terre Haute Air National Guard Base, Indiana, were in attendance.

There were open-air demonstrations from security forces, fire department, aircrew flight equipment, Marine Corps, and explosive ordnance disposal teams. Employers had hands-on interactions and conversation opportunities to learn about a variety of careers.

“I have a young man working for me that is an Air Force reservist,” said Christopher Anderson, a participating employer. “I didn’t know what happened at this base before coming here but after this experience, I was in shock by all of the cool things that are going on.”

Each employer got a chance to go into the boom pod, located towards the tail-end of the aircraft, where they witnessed the KC-135 refueling an A-10 Warthog.

“It was fantastic,” Anderson continued. “Seeing this aircraft refuel another one was my favorite part of the event. I learned so much and I loved every bit of it.”

The ESGR’s mission is to promote and enhance employer support for military service in the Guard and Reserve.

“ESGR is here to help,” said Stephen Williams, State Chair of Indiana ESGR. “Employer outreach is a key function of ESGR’s mission. Each year, national and local level events are hosted across America by all 54 ESGR State Committees.”

ESGR is a Department of Defense program that was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve and Guard component service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.

For additional information about ESGR and their events, visit

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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