MacDill reserve wing hosts bosslift
By Capt. Joe Simms, 927th Air Refueling Wing/Public Affairs
/ Published May 06, 2015
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Civic leaders from throughout South Carolina visited the 927th Air Refueling Wing here April 30- May 1, as part of a community outreach program sponsored by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
The ESGR is a Department of Defense organization that develops and promotes a supportive work environment for service members through education and outreach opportunities directed towards influential members of the civilian community.
During their visit, the Palmetto state residents were able to see and hear from a wide range of organizations that call MacDill home including United States Special Operations Command, United States Central Command and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where they learned how data is collected to better predict the path of hurricanes.
"When the opportunity presented itself, I dropped everything to be a part of this flight," said Chris Amato, a business owner from Charleston, South Carolina. "It was a great experience and I know I'm leaving here with a greater appreciation of life as an Air Force Reservist, and MacDill Air Force Base."
The visit kicked off with a mission briefing by Col. Dennis Seymour, 927th Mission Support Group commander, where he discussed the balancing act Reservists must maintain between their military commitment, their civilian job and their family commitments.
"On a normal day, we expect to be the third priority behind the family and civilian job," Seymour said. "But when we receive the call, it is imperative that the family and civilian employer understand the demands placed on the reservist when they deploy and are able to support the service member accordingly."
The most engaging stop on the tour was the unclassified ISIL briefing provided by 1st Lt. Matthew Repasky, 927 ARW intelligence officer, followed by a briefing from Maj. Andrew Aranda, USCENTCOM Public Affairs.
The briefings gave the civilians some insight into the conflicts in the USCENTOM area of responsibility and how the AF Reserve, and other branches of service, are supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Before they departed MacDill, everyone was able to tour an aircraft used to track hurricanes in the Atlantic and a KC-135 Stratotanker.
"It was great for these employers of Guardsmen and Reservists, many of whom have had very little interaction with the military, to learn about the AF Reserve and how it fits into the current operations going on around the world," said Derek Shumpert, SC ESGR program support technician. "We thoroughly enjoyed the visit and definitely have gained some new advocates for the ESGR and AF Reserve."