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Civilian employers experience a day in the Air Force Reserve

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash., - Staff Sgt. Bradley Sharp, 36th Aerial Port Squadron, talks with his civilian employer, Michael Walker aboard a C-17 during Employer Orientation Day Oct. 21. Culminating with an orientation flight, the semi-annual event  highlights the 446th Airlift Wing's mission to civilian employers of McChord Reservists.

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash., - Staff Sgt. Bradley Sharp, 36th Aerial Port Squadron, talks with his civilian employer, Michael Walker aboard a C-17 during Employer Orientation Day Oct. 21. Culminating with an orientation flight, the semi-annual event highlights the 446th Airlift Wing's mission to civilian employers of McChord Reservists.

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Thirty-six civilian employers came out to McChord Air Force Base for Employer Orientation Day Oct. 21, the semi-annual event designed to highlight 446th Airlift Wing Reservists and their mission.
The event includes a mock mobility line, where civilian employers learn the process Reservists go through when deploying. After processing through the mobility line, employers meet their Reserve employees at a C-17 Globemaster III and go on an orientation flight.
"It renewed my respect for the men and women who are serving our country," said Michael Walker, one of the employers who participated in the event. "I always thought that Brad (Staff Sgt. Brad Sharp, 36th Aerial Port Squadron) just kind of disappeared for a few days every month. I never realized all that he does during the weekends. Personally, I'd rather be at home drinking beers."
Culminating with an air drop, the flight awed many of the employers.
"I'm amazed at how the plane performs," said David Enger, the civilian employer of Tech. Sgt. Mikhail Ekshtut, 446th AW Chapel.
Dipping down low over the Cascade Mountains after completing the air drop, Mr. Enger keenly spotted a familiar site in the mountains below. "We passed over Stevens Pass Ski Resort. We went right over a trail on the backside that I've skied before."
Another employer, Sheri Forbes from the National Park Service, was impressed with the design of the Employer Orientation Day event. "I liked the overall sense of involvement and interaction. It was especially engaging for people like me who haven't had a lot of exposure to a military environment," she said. Ms. Forbes is the supervisor of Staff Sgt. Barry Fraissinet, 446th Maintenance Squadron, when he is at his civilian job.
The next Employer Orientation Day will be April 7. Contact the Public Affairs office at 982-3330 for more information.