You can't buy a ticket for this ride
By Senior Airman Peter Dean, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published August 13, 2008
Niagara Fall, NY -- "This is an experience of a life time," said Jordan Evans, manager, Uhaul. Evans was join by more than 175 civilian employers that had the opportunity to experience a C-130. On Aug. 8, the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserves 914th Airlift Wing held its first joint Bosses' Day.
Each year a day is set a side to give thanks to the civilian employers for the sacrifices they make. Without their support the Guard and Reserve units would not be able to function as they should. This was the first year that the 107th and the 914th worked together, along with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to ensure the bosses were treated to a day of event they would not soon forget.
"I look forward to this each year," said Sandy Silverberg, Attorney, Silverberg, Mcgoory, Sellers and Silverberg. "Last year I watched as a fighter jet was refueled," he said. He was referring to last year when the 107th was an air refueling wing and flying KC-135s. Silverberg attended last years bosses' day where he flew on a refueling mission.
Throughout the morning, while enjoying coffee and donuts donated by Tim Hortons, employers interacted with Guardsmen and Reservist who demonstrated proper wear of chemical warfare, C-130 engine maintenance and life support demonstrations.
Employers also had the opportunity to safely handle weapons such as the M-249 machine gun, the M-4 machine gun and the M-203 grenade launcher. A C-130 and crew were on hand to answer questions and familiarize employers with the layout and the specifications of the C-130 prior to their flight briefing.
During the flight briefing, employers were given safety rules and flight paths. Employers were also addressed by both commanders, Col. Patrick Ginavan, 107th AW and Col. Reinhard Schmidt, 914th AW. Recently the 107th converted from KC-135s to C-130s. Guardsmen will be called upon to retrain on the new air frame with some schools lasting as long as nine months.
"This is a unique opportunity for our guardsmen to show their employers our new mission, "said Col. Ginavan.
Along with the conversion to the C-130s, the 107th AW and the 914th AW will now be associated and working together as one.
"This is the first opportunity for us to demonstrate to our members' employers the new association and the building of Team Niagara for a strong future," said Col. Schmidt.
After the briefing the employers were then bussed out to the waiting C-130s where they received their final briefing from Senior Airman Tiffany Seager, one of the loadmaster controlling the rear of the C-130. The engines began to roar and the air frame began to shake as the C-130 raced down the runway. The shaking subsided as it became airborne. After only a few minutes of flight, the loadmasters went to the rear of the plane donned their helmets and tethered themselves in. The loud screeching of hydraulics filled the plane as passengers looked at each other in anticipation; they knew what was going to happen next. As light started to fill the rear of the plane, their eyes lit up like kids at Christmas. The rear ramp was opening giving the employers a birds-eye view of the falls. The pilots piloted the C-130 around to many local attractions such as the Bills Stadium, the Niagara River and Marine Land.
During the flight over the "Falls," Evans said "you should charge for this," 'No, we are grateful for your support,' said the writer.
Back on solid ground the employers were greeted by a representative of ESGR who had arranged and paid for a tasty chicken barbecue with all the fixings to be served. As employers sat enjoying their meal, chatter about their experience filled the hangar.
This day was about the employer and giving thanks. Employers like Evans who manages a Uhaul shop of only six employees feels the crunch when his employee Staff Sgt. Jason Sinclair is called upon, but stated "supporting him is the least we can do, he's serving our country." "When he deploys, his job will be waiting for him," he said.