Civilian bosses attend appreciation flight

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Team March hosted approximately 40 civilian employers during the 452nd Air Mobility Wing Employer Appreciation Day here Saturday.

The event provides an opportunity to thank civilian employers for supporting their citizen airmen, reservists and guardsmen, while also educating employers on the significant role March Air Reserve Base provides in support of national defense. Additionally, employers receive the opportunity to participate in an inflight refueling demonstration aboard an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.

The day’s activities began at building 2240, where Brig. Gen. Russell A. Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March ARB, warmly welcomed the visitors and explained March ARB’s rich heritage and various wing and tenant mission sets.

Muncy also explained the symbiotic relationship each reservist and guardsman faced: balancing the triad of family, military career, and civilian employment obligations. Civilian employers were critical in ensuring that balance, he emphasized.

“We have to remember that each reservist [and guardsman] has the same standards and requirements as an active duty service member but they do it in one weekend a month and two weeks throughout the year,” said Patrick Kuykendall, program support technician, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. “You allowing them to go to their annual training to stay current…thank you so much on behalf of the Department of Defense.”

The event’s inflight refueling demonstration occurred near the Colorado River, where civilian employers aboard the KC-135 Stratotanker had the opportunity to observe Chief Master Sgt. Deborah McGuane, chief boom operator, 336th Air Refueling Squadron, March ARB demonstrate the proper execution of the refueling.

“This is my first time on the flight,” said Senior Airman Carlos Yamamoto, aerospace propulsion technician, 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, March ARB. He explained that the aircraft he was flying on was an aircraft he conducts maintenance on a regular basis.

Hugh Smith, engineering division manager and a 26-year employee of the Riverside County Transportation Department, also explained this was his first time participating in the program. “There was a lot of waiting,” he quipped when referring to the multiple transportation and security stops throughout the day’s itinerary.

“We have these two aircraft and more at the I-215 Van Buren Boulevard Interchange,” said Smith as he referred to the recently completed interchange construction project that displayed aluminum silhouettes of C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and the ground forms of the AF Thunderbirds.

After the refueling demonstration, civilian employers were released to visit their reservist and guardsmen’s work offices for a closer look at the work conducted during unit training assemblies.