419th Fighter Wing hosts Employer Appreciation Day

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The 419th Fighter Wing hosted more than 45 civilian employers from across four states, who participated in the wing’s Employer Appreciation Day here Saturday.

The Wing partnered with Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve to host this day-long event, in which employers get a glimpse of what their employees do as part of the Air Force Reserve. 

“We think it’s important to thank you for your continued support of our Airmen,” said Col. Bryan Radliff, the 419th FW commander. “We are so honored to have you here and show you what your reservists do in support of this great nation.”

The event featured an F-16 aerial refueling mission. Attendees flew in a KC-135 and were able to watch F-16s refuel from a boom operator’s vantage point. 

“It was incredible!” said Thomas Dalton, a United States Air Force employer. “I’ve never seen [anything] like that before. You don’t forget something like that.”

After the flight, employers enjoyed a luncheon at the park, then had time to see flight equipment, weapons, and an explosive ordnance disposal demo. Reservists then had an opportunity to take their civilian employers to their individual work places to show them what they do on weekends. 

“I had no idea there was this amount of meticulous maintenance and care that went into every plane,” said Damon Stewart, owner of Wasatch Crossfit, as he walked through a hangar and around F-16s. “It was great to see the operation behind the scenes.”

The wing hosts EAD every other year to thank civilian employers for their support, to educate them on the Air Force Reserve and to offer a firsthand view into their employees’ part-time life in support of national defense.