GREAT FALLS, Mont.-Here comes the sunrise! The Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve volunteer team started their Saturday morning in mid-August at 0530 (5:30 am), welcoming 44 employers and community leaders for a C130 boss lift with the Montana Air National Guard 120th Airlift Wing in Great Falls, Montana.
An ESGR boss lift familiarizes employers and community leaders with the vital role the Guard and Reserve plays in preserving national security. It acquaints employers with how the Guard and Reserve train in response to their community and their country in a time of need. The boss lift allows ESGR to educate employers about the Uniformed Service Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This federal law protects the job rights of those who leave a civilian job to perform military service. ESGR is a resource for Montana employers who have questions about hiring or working with a current Reserve Component member.
Employers received a briefing from Montana ESGR State Chair Brad Livingston on the ESGR History and the importance of employer support to maintain the Guard/Reserve units’ readiness. Montana Air/Army National Guard leaders attended. Assistant General for Air, Brigadier General Buel Dickson welcomed the employers and shared the Montana Air National Guard story. Additional briefers included 120th Airlift Wing Commander Colonel Trace Thomas; 120th AW Command Chief, Chief Master Sergeant Amber Weiste and Montana Senior Enlisted Leaders Command Sergeant Major Robert Terrio.
Employers boarded flights with 120th Airlift Wing Commander Colonel Trace Tomas and Colonel Jason Green (120 MSG/CC) as the pilots along with Montana Air National Guard crews. Employers were rotated through the cockpit of the C130 to view Montana landscapes such as the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area’s famed Chinese Wall, named after the Great Wall of China. The formation’s limestone spines average about 1,000 feet in height and spans unbroken for a dozen miles marking the Continental Divide through the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the eastern border of the Rocky Mountains in Montana.
"I had an amazing time on the Boss Flight. It was amazing to see all of the personnel involved in the aircraft, their interactions and how dedicated each member of the crew was to the mission,” commented Matthew S. Robertson Deputy Cascade County Attorney who attended as a past employer of a Montana National Guard member. “I very much appreciated the opportunity to attend and participate and will be advocating for individuals to join the Montana Air National Guard every chance I get."
Photo: Sunrise over Great Falls, Montana and the Montana Air National Guard 120th Airlift Wing C130 set for an employer boss lift flight with Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (Montana ESGR).
Views out the front window of a Montana Air National Guard C130 boss lift over the Chinese Wall, a massive curtain of rock face marking the Continental Divide through the Bob Marshall Wilderness on the eastern border of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex was named after early forester, wilderness preservation pioneer, and Wilderness Society cofounder Bob Marshall. This roadless region was designated as wilderness in 1964 and encompasses 1,009,352 acres.