Colorado Air National Guard showcases capabilities to employers

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares
  • 140th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 140th Wing, Colorado National Guard showcased their war-time capabilities and readiness to their Colorado civilian employers July 10.

The day at Buckley was part of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) program designed to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. The Department of Defense program was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.

More than 50 civilian employees were given the opportunity to learn about and experience the missions of the Colorado Air National Guard and the broad range of duties performed by its Citizen-Airmen.

The employers were divided into three separate groups. The first group of employers had the opportunity to fly on a KC-10 tanker around Colorado and watch the 120th Fighter Squadron F-16s refuel in-flight, exactly as the jets did when they deployed for Iraq last summer. The two other groups watched the F-16s takeoff down the runway, followed by an F-16 static tour, as well as a "Hush House" tour where the group watched a jet engine run demonstration. Group two also received a tour of the Army National Guard's Aviation facility, prior to boarding Black Hawk helicopters for a flight down to the Colorado Air National Guard's Air Burst Range at Fort Carson. There, the second group of employers watched a 13th Air Support Operations Squadron Joint Tactical Air Controllers direct a four-ship of F-16's in dropping bombs on targets.

There's a huge benefit in having these employers out to Buckley. It gives them a realization and understanding of what their employees are doing while they are out doing military duty, stated Master Sgt. John McCallik, IV, 140th Maintenance Group production superintendent.

"It was impressive to say the least, said Gary Armstrong with West Metro Fire Rescue. "Seeing the F-16's take off was probably a once in a life time experience for a lot of us. Going over and viewing the F-16's in the hangar and then into the Hush House, the amount of power was overwhelming. The Black Hawk ride down to the range was incredible and watching the F-16's do training runs and dropping inert bombs was also amazing."

As the Colorado Air National Guard continues with their missions that require extraordinary actions on the part of everyday Citizen-Airmen across the state of Colorado, ESGR will continue to be the informational agency for employers of these Airmen.

"Everything was great, I just want to thank everyone for their service and for the extraordinary way they support this country," said Thomas Corbin, manager at Ball Aerospace.