JOINT BASE ELMENDORF RICHARDSON, Alaska – The sound of a CH47F Chinook helicopter thundering through the mountains surrounding Anchorage is hard to miss. One Wednesday morning in August a special group of civilians were invited on board. Local employers with Service Member employees who serve in the Alaska National Guard and Reserve Components were invited out on a tour of the B Company 2nd 211th Aviation Unit and a flight aboard a Chinook helicopter.
The crew, employers and ESGR volunteers took off from Bryant Airfield on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson and headed into the Chugach Mountains. They were able to touch down, disembark, and enjoy the scenery at the foot of Knik Glacier. Having the Chinooks as part of the Alaska National Guard arsenal has vastly increased the capability and reach to haul more for longer distances. The helicopters are regularly utilized in transporting Service Members, supplies, medical personnel, water or whatever is called for. Chinooks are often seen assisting with rescue missions and firefighting.
The tour, or Bosslift the term given for these unique flights is sponsored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve ESGR and the Alaska Army National Guard. The group included employers representing Denali Universal Services, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, JL Properties, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska Airlines, State of Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice, Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utilities, Eyak Corporation, and Siemens.
Also aboard the flight were ESGR Volunteers: Dave Lamothe, Clint Johnson and Pam Johnson. Employers described the experiences as amazing unforgettable and a once in a lifetime experience. Not only was this the first Bosslift since 2019, it was the first Bosslift in Alaska on a Chinook helicopter. This was an extra special day for Alaska!
Special thanks to the flight crew and the men and women of the B Company, 2nd 211th Aviation for making this experience possible.