SALT LAKE CITY, Utah --
The 151st Air Refueling Wing and Utah’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) brought approximately 20 employers on an appreciation air refueling mission here on August 17, 2022.
The employers were nominated by their Air National Guard employees, they boarded a KC-135R Stratotanker and witnessed the refueling of three F-16 Falcons and four F-35 Lighting’s while taking in an aerial view of Utah’s West desert.
Each employer had the opportunity to go into the boom pod to observe the refueling action up close. This appreciation flight gives an opportunity for the employers to see what their National Guard Airmen experience while away from work and if they get put on orders.
Col. Todd Deshler, A3 Director of Operations, briefed the employers about the Utah Air National Guard. He explained how the 151st ARW is still held to the same standard as the Active Duty Air Force and the mission never falters.
“The Utah Air National Guard relies on our traditional guardsmen, we are the only one in the state,” said Deshler. “Without them and without employers, like yourselves, providing the support we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our role in the defense of this nation”
Around 48% of the U.S. military is either Guard or Reserve. The ESGR was created to help the relationship between military and civilian employers. It is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Guard and Reserve components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between the Service members and their employers.
The ESGR appreciation flight is the Utah Air National Guard’s way of giving back to the companies and leaders that allow their Guardsmen to attend military training without the stress of their civilian job weighing down on them.
The employers concluded the day by signing the ESGR "Statement of Support" which is the cornerstone of ESGR's efforts to gain and maintain employer support. This allows the employer to display how they advocate for their employee's participation in the National Guard and Reserve.