MARTINSBURG - Employers from in and around the Mountain State were treated to an ESGR Bosslift on June 29 at the 167th Air National Guard Base in Martinsburg.

For the News Tribune
MARTINSBURG - Employers from in and around the Mountain State were treated to an ESGR Bosslift on June 29 at the 167th Air National Guard Base in Martinsburg.  
A “Bosslift” is an employer outreach program for the Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve (ESGR). A Bosslift is designed to help educate and provide employers an appreciation of what duties a reserve component employee may be conducting while away from their place of employment.  
Approximately 45 employers and ESGR volunteers converged onto the Air National Guard Base in Martinsburg for the day’s events, including a flight over West Virginia in a C-17 military transport aircraft.   
Two of those employers were Keyser High School principal Michael Lewis and Ridgley State Farm agent Jonathan Frye.  
Employers enjoyed a breakfast in the base dining facility, with introductions and informational briefings on ESGR, the history of the 167th Airlift Wing, along with pre-flight instructions from base personnel.  A short walk, then a bus shuttle to the tarmac and boarding began.  
Unlike commercial aircraft, military aircraft do not provide the comforts that a frequent flyer is accustomed to on airline travel.  The seating configuration places you siting sideways in the aircraft and ear plugs were mandated due to the intense noise of the jet engines.  
Once at cruising altitude, the seatbelts came off and participants took in the scenic beauty West Virginia has to offer from the air.  
Employers were rotated through the cockpit to see and hear firsthand how Air National Guard crews pilot the plane. The flight took employers over Morgantown then south over Elkins and then for a very unique view of Seneca Rocks. The flight continued into the Shenandoah Valley and finally landed back at the Martinsburg Air Base.  
“I got to see Mountaineer Field from a whole different perspective,” stated Michael Lewis  “I was in the cockpit when we flew over Morgantown.” Later in the flight, Jonathan Frye shouted over the roar of the jet engines, “I believe we just flew over Elkins.”
 Upon returning to the air base, the employers received a lunch in the dining facility and were able to visit with various displays set up from the base support sections. The sections on display include base security, aircraft maintainers, flight crew equipment, and the base fire department with their ladder truck.  
Participants were provided the opportunity to climb the ladder, which several brave-hearted employers conquered. One who did was KHS’s principal, who joked “the ladder is taller than it looks.”   
Each employer came away with a smile on their face and a whole new understanding of how vital  reserve components are to the security of our nation.