by Senior Airman Emmanuel Santiago
103rd Airlift Wing, Public Affairs
11/20/2014 - BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - East Granby, Conn. -- Civilian
employers from around the state gathered to participate in an Employer
Support of the Guard and Reserve "bosslift" at Bradley Air National
Guard Base, Connecticut, arriving early on Oct. 28th, 2014.
The day started with coffee and donuts followed by a briefing from Col.
Fred Miclon, vice commander of the 103rd Airlift Wing, about the mission
of the Flying Yankees and then by the Connecticut ESGR committee about
the importance of civilian employers to the ANG.
"I just wanted to say thank you," said Ted Graziani, state chair for the
Connecticut ESGR committee. "Each and every one of you puts in the time
and effort to abide by USERRA and it really shows through your
commitment to your military employees."
USERRA, also known as the uniformed services employment and reemployment
rights act, is a federal law that outlines rights and responsibilities
for both military members and employers regarding employment and being
called up to serve in a military capacity.
Following the briefing, the group was escorted to the hangar where they
got an up close and personal look at one of the recently acquired C-130H
Hercules aircraft. The tour included sitting at the controls of the
aircraft and walk through the cargo area.
Available throughout the C130H were Airmen to answer any question from the group.
The group was then transported to the Army Aviation Support Facility,
home of the 169th Aviation Regiment to experience the Army side of the
Connecticut National Guard.
Upon arrival the group was briefed by Sgt. Major Tony Savino on the
daily operations of the Army Guard. The group received tours of the
CH-47 Chinook, and the UH-60 Blackhawk. Again, the civilian employers
got a chance to sit at the controls of these aircraft and ask any
questions they may have had.
Following the tours, participants were treated to a real military
experience when each member of the group was given a meal ready to eat
for lunch. MREs are prepackaged food intended for military personnel
working in the field.
Once the group was fed they made their way to the helipad where they
boarded a UH-60 Blackhawk piloted by Capt. Rick LaGrega, commander,
headquarters and headquarters company 1/169th Aviation Regiment, general
support aviation battalion and lifted to Southbridge airfield to
conduct a counter clockwise loop.
"As a Soldier and a company commander, I cannot emphasize enough how
vital the support of employers is to the Connecticut National Guard,"
After the practice approach at Pittsfield Airfield; the Blackhawk flew
back to Bradley ANG to return the group to their parked vehicles.
"The bosslift experience was absolutely fantastic... my team from
UTAS-Danbury Defense Systems were extremely impressed with the tours,
presentations, and the history lesson," said David Imbrogno, general
manager of defense systems, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance
and space systems, United Technologies Corporation, aerospace systems.
ESGR regularly supports events like this for civilian employers with the
goal providing them with a better understanding and mutual respect of
military members and their obligations.