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Air Force reservists play host to local civilian employers

446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Published: 12:32PM May 9th, 2013

On one of the first sunny days of the year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord May 4, the 446th Airlift Wing hosted Employer Orientation Day to demonstrate to employers the mission of the wing and the responsibilities Reservists have in their Air Force Reserve jobs.

The goal was to give the employers a better understanding of what the Air Force Reserve and 446th AW’s mission is and the critical role employers have in enabling their Reserve employees to accomplish it, according to Lt. Col. Anna Sullivan, 446th AW Public Affairs.

“We have employer day to give employers a feel for what it is Reservists do,” said Col. Eric Johnson, 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron operations flight commander.

If employers didn’t know what they let Reservists leave for when they have to leave for weeks, months or years, they wouldn’t want to let them go, Johnson said. This tour lets them know that what their Reservists do here is very important.

This employer day differed from those in the past, with a new program highlighting the medical mission of the wing.

Instead of flying, the employers walked through displays set up in Hangar 12 at McChord Field, home of the 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron. Other displays on hand included aerial port, explosive ordnance disposal, emergency management, security forces and the chaplain.

Throughout the tour, the Reservists readily answered the many questions employers asked.

“It’s easy to talk about things that you do,” Johnson said. “(The Reservists) have done it in deployed circumstances, so it comes easy to them. They don’t have to make anything up or read something; it was their life for a long time and it still is.”

Though the employers didn’t get to experience the C-17 in flight, they saw the day-to-day operations and training of many of the 446th AW squadrons, which gave them a real understanding of the amount of work it takes to achieve mission success, according to Sullivan.

For Dawn Craig of Smokey Point District, Inc., it was an eye-opener seeing Reservists do their jobs. She said she gained a new appreciation of what her employee, Tech. Sgt. Ethan Magill, 446th Maintenance Squadron, has to do each reserve weekend.

“We see planes flying or we see things on the news, but we don’t realize the ins and outs of what goes into the Air Force Reserve,” she said. “Coming down here really helps and everyone should do it.”

The next 446th AW Employer Orientation Day will be in October.