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445th employers honored during Employer’s Day

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ethan Spickler
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 445th Airlift Wing hosted more than 40 civilian employers for an Employer Appreciation Day, Nov. 5, 2022, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Employer Appreciation Day gives Reserve Citizen Airmen the opportunity to honor their employers for their support. That support ranges from allowing for flexibility regarding military service to fostering a work environment that is military friendly. Employer Ap­preciation Day brings service members together with their civilian counterparts, building on the relation­ships that make the mission readiness of the Air Force Reserve possible.

At the start of the day, the employers met up with their reservists for a hearty breakfast where they were welcomed and given a mission brief by Col. Raymond A. Smith Jr., the commander of the 445th Airlift Wing. The wing commander ensured that the employers un­derstood how important they are to the wing’s success and highlighted some of the functions they would soon experience around the wing.

Members of the Ohio Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve were on hand to brief the Uni­formed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) and answer questions. The ESGR, a De­partment of Defense agency, provides many resources, including free education, consultation and mediation, for service members and their civilian employers. The organization is vital to mitigating the stress that bal­ancing military service and civilian employment can potentially produce.

“I’m appreciative of having our civilian counter­parts here,” said Lt. Col. Alexander Bingcang, a reserv­ist with the 445th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who invited his employer to attend the event. “It’s great for them to see what it’s all about. As Citizen Airmen, we wear this dual hat, and there is sometimes a tension between our civilian and military roles, but having our employers and co-workers here is an amazing oppor­tunity to share what we do.”

Throughout the day’s happenings, various squad­rons worked together to provide an exceptional experi­ence for the employers in attendance.

Events like Employer Appreciation Day enhance positive relationships between service members and their civilian counterparts.

At the Warfighter Training Center, a portion of Wright-Patterson AFB specifically designated for com­bat and tactical training, members of the 445th Security Forces Squadron met the group and provided a simulated tactical fire and movement/maneuver demonstration while firing blanks and throwing smoke grenades. At the conclusion of the demonstration, the employers had the opportunity to see and hold multiple weapons systems used during the simulation including an M2 heavy machine gun, an M4 carbine, an M249 light machine gun, and an M240 machine gun.

“I’m humbled that I was invited, and my Airman thought enough of me to bring me out here,” said Brandon Huddleston, an employer who attended the event. “He’s a squared-away individual. He does a wonderful job for us and is just a quality man, and I’m so happy to be spending some time here.”

After a question-and-answer session and photo opportunities, the Airmen assigned to the 445th Force Support Squadron presented the employers with dog tags and explained some of the vital personnel services they provide to wing members.

Next the employers were escorted to the flight line where they boarded a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and took to the skies. While on board, flight personnel answered questions and provided insight into the aircraft and how it serves the Air Force mission. Also, members of the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron demonstrated life-saving techniques and procedures for caring for patients in-flight.

Upon landing, the employers visited an aircraft hangar for several demonstrations. The 445th Civil Engineer Squadron showcased some of their Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) equipment and gave employers the opportunity to don mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear and ask questions about how the safety and security of Airmen plays a role in completing mission objectives. Similarly, the 445th Aerospace Medicine Squadron highlighted many of their life-saving tools and techniques, helping attendees use tourniquets and learn more about the medical readiness side of the wing.

At the conclusion of the day’s events, all employers were presented a certificate of appreciation by Col. Smith to commemorate their support.

“It means a lot to have my employer here supporting me,” said Master Sgt. Eric Henry, the 445th AMDS first sergeant. “While I was deployed, he had my back, and he’s always offered to help take care of my family. It's just a great environment to work in.”

The outcome of these events is that reservists help their employers see first-hand how military service impacts their role as civilian employees while also giving them a behind the scenes look at some of the incredible work 445th Airmen accomplish and how their commitment to their employees helps 445th AW support the Air Force mission.

“The breadth and depth of this team is fascinating,” said Mr. David Walter, one of the employers who attended. “Everything that goes into what you guys do is amazing, and most people never get the opportunity to see a fraction of what that takes. Today was a great exposure to that and a very positive experience.”