Employers soar with South Texas units

  • Published
  • By Julian Hernandez
  • 433rd Airlift Wing

More than two dozen employers of Reserve Citizen Airmen got a glimpse of what happens during weekend training at a United States Air Force base.

The 433rd Airlift Wing and the 960th Cyberspace Wing, in partnership with the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program, hosted 27 employers as part of its “Bosslift” event. The program’s primary mission is to assist civilian employers of Reserve Citizen Airmen to better understand the mission of the Air Force Reserve during their monthly Unit Training Activities, commonly referred to as “drill weekends”.

Reserve Citizen Airmen nominated their civilian employers for the program. Tech. Sgt. John Ortega, a 26th Aerial Port Squadron senior controller, nominated his employer. “It’s a perfect opportunity to show my boss exactly what I do when I’m here on the weekends” Ortega said. “I’ve been deployed twice, so the company that I work for, Crown Lift Trucks, has been great in supporting me whenever I need to go and do my job for the Air Force.”

“It’s nice to see what they’re accomplishing when they’re not at work,” said Dan Burrows, a field services manager at Crown Lift Trucks and the manager who hired Ortega. Burrows added it is difficult for supervisors when reservists are gone for training because they must justify that person’s absence.

“I definitely feel he should have the opportunity to see what I do,” Ortega said. “It gives him a better understanding that I’m not just coming out here to goof off... I actually have a job to do”.

The employers received briefings from key unit leaders, ESGR leadership, while also providing the employers an opportunity to ask questions.

Before boarding the C-5M Super Galaxy, the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory, bosses got a tour of the 433rd Maintenance Group engine maintenance shop and the 733rd Training Squadron’s air crew virtual training areas.

The flight took the employers from here to Corpus Christi, then east along the Texas coast before returning to home base. While in the air, the C-5M crew provided a tour of the aircraft, including some time in a front-row seat alongside the pilots in the cockpit.

It was an opportunity for the Reserve Citizen Airmen on the flight crew to showcase their skills. Senior Master Sgt. Ernest Urrutia, a 68th Airlift Squadron flight engineer evaluator, recognized the program’s value. “Now, when they have to give a guy a day off from work, they know it’s because he has to do some training,” Urrutia said. “Eventually, he may have to go and do it for some real-world training, but at least he’s going to be prepared to the best of his ability.”

Once the employers returned here, they were able to spend more time with the reservists in their specific work areas.

The Bosslift program had been on pause during the Covid 19 Pandemic.