ESGR Boss Lift at the 148th Fighter Wing

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Addie Peterson
  • 148th Fighter Wing

The 148th Fighter Wing and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) conducted a boss lift in a KC-135 Stratotanker for local employers and educators to share what employees do at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn. during their military duty time. They were flown in a KC-135 assigned to the 128th Air Refueling Wing from Milwaukee, Wis. to experience an aerial refueling mission firsthand. Guardsmen nominated employers and educators to participate in this event, and a group was selected to go up June 7, 2024.

Many traditional guardsmen at the 148th work full-time civilian jobs while also attending drill weekends monthly. These weekend commitments, additional training days, temporary duty, and deployments can sometimes conflict with civilian jobs. The ESGR program helps educate and build relationships between civilian employers and their military employees.

This Department of Defense office established in 1972 aims to strengthen the relationship between employers and guard/reserve military members. They “promote a culture where employers support and value military service.” Events such as boss lifts give our supporters opportunities to ask questions and gain a better understanding about what the 148th does.

The CEO of Essentia Health, Dr. David Herman, is very supportive of his employees who are also members of the 148th. “What I notice is that my employees that are part of Essentia and part of the 148th, it’s synergistic, they use the same teamwork that they do at work here,” said Herman. “The things that they learn at the 148th about teamwork, commitment to a mission, and engagement in the things that you do every day, enhances their work, and enhances the teamwork at Essentia Health.”

As well as employers, educators play a crucial role in the success of the 148th. With many 148th members enlisting shortly after high school, support from teachers is important to help share information with students about opportunities and education benefits at the wing. “The 148th is obviously a place where people really enjoy their work, and are also expected to do it well,” said Hermantown High School teacher, a former U.S. Army Captain, Craig Peterson.

Wing Commander Col. Nathan Aysta began the event by briefing the mission and history of the 148th. Passengers watched F-16 Fighting Falcons, assigned to the 148th Fighter Wing and F-35 Lighting IIs from the 62nd Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz. be refueled in the air. The F-35s were flown by pilots from the Royal Norwegian Air Force in the area for integrated training purposes. The flight lasted about two hours, taking off and landing from the 148th Fighter Wing. Passengers viewed familiar local landmarks while also watching jets refuel through a boom pod.


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