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ESGR Bosslift Program- Part II

ESGR Bosslift Program- Part II

Barber Trucking’s CFO Tia Young took part in a local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) event last month in Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA. Here is blog post Part II of II where she shares her experience with the ESGR Bosslift program, which she attended as a Barber Trucking liaison, as a way to continue being a truly military friendly employer.

 


Firearm training ESGR Bosslift ProgramThe next day we had another moment to hear from a few speakers as to how we could hire veterans and help the soldiers who so selflessly gave or continue to give their service to our country. From there, we loaded back up on the bus and traveled to Engagement Skills Training 2000 where we participated in a firearm simulator. They had an array of firearms lined up. There was a projector screen, about 8’ by 24’ in dimension, which displayed video graphics.

They divided us into two groups, and I was able to watch the first group participate. Again, the scenario displayed on the screen was introductory; yet was difficult and realistically set in an Afghanistan desert. We watched as enemy soldiers dislodged from the armored vehicles in the distance. The gunmen (employers participating in the program) were to take fire as the enemy quickly closed in, but in our case, it was clearly a battle lost. This was just another example of the elite training our men and women of the trained forces go through.

The next event was a virtual classroom where we were able to learn first hand how the soldier participates in one of the courses for tank training. We entered the classroom and sat down at the computer. We each had a headset and started the virtual game. At first I thought it was a video game, but as I followed the instructions, a PowerPoint popped up and started teaching us about different types of terrain.

I learned about draws and depressions and terrains on this Earth I didn’t even know had a name. We drove the whole way home quizzing each other on what type of terrain we were coming upon. It was interesting and inquisitive to realize that something we look at our whole life was maybe not the name we had always referred to it as.

The next stop was the tank, or armored vehicle section. I was able to observe each armory vehicle and learn about the mechanics of each one. It was very interesting to learn about the extreme situations that each soldier could endure. For example, it may be necessary for these soldiers to be secluded in a confined tank for 30 plus days without being able to leave the armored vehicle.

It is unfortunate that our military has to prepare them for this, but it’s important to do for preparation to deploy overseas and for worst case scenarios. The capabilities and technology of the armored tanks are very impressive, as well. They have tanks that surgery can be performed in as there is a remote screen that can connect to a live surgeon who can read all the life signs and guide the crew. There is a tank that can repel large firearm strikes. There are tanks that can send ammo down range a mile and strike a target. Our military is skilled beyond words, and again, this is just the surface.

The next place we were bussed to was the aviation center. However, this was the aviation center that housed the Blackhawks, Apache and Chinook helicopters. It was very impressive, and the gentlemen that spoke to us were exceptionally knowledgeable. The Major welcomed us and took us to the room where he explained to us their mission and pieced us in two groups.

The first half was to tour the center and learn about all of the incredible aircraft on base; the second half was to go on a Chinook flight! We were lucky to be in the second half as we were the first to take flight. We made our way to the aircraft, wearing ear plugs, gripping tight to loose clothes, shutting our eyes and holding our breath as to not breathe in the bursts of air jet fuel pushed by the highly intensive wind flow of the rotors.

Chinook ESGR Bosslift ProgramOnce on the aircraft, we all secured our seatbelts and anxiously awaited take off. There were two soldiers in the back of the Chinook that helped coordinate our onboarding and safety. Once we took off, they continued to guard the ground and for a while even sat post with the back gate down, legs dangling. They checked all of the mechanics midflight and continued to watch as if in action.

I watched towards the front, as well, as the pilots made maneuvers and switched many different lights and buttons. It was again remarkable to see the skills, training, and mastership that was behind all of these operations. We flew over the Susquehanna and over Harrisburg; it was a beautiful ride.

Once we off boarded the helicopter, we toured the facility with the Major and Warrant Officer who taught us more about each aircraft. The Chinook is an amazing piece of aircraft as it can help domestically by rescuing victims of natural disasters or providing cargo to remote locations; however the bottom is not firearm proof, so it is not ideal for battle.

We learned about the Apache helicopter, which is a very powerful war weapon. It amazed me to learn of the different firearm techniques it has as well as the protection it provides its operators. The Blackhawk (or crash-hawk as the Army and Guard refer to it), is also an amazing aircraft as it is extremely safe and durable and is used as a tactical transport for passengers.

I could literally take a whole page describing my experiences with these aircraft and what I learned and what impressed me, but it is again beyond words that I can express the level of professionalism and technology that this department displayed.
I left this experience wishing that I could learn more. Because what I learned and observed only further led me to believe how incredibly blessed we are, to not only live in America with this incredible defensive task force, but also to live amongst these soldiers day in and day out and call them friends and family.

I am beyond amazed at the training and skill set they have mastered yet the humbleness of their character. I am beyond appreciative for having this experience and infinitely grateful for the security my family and friends have because of our amazing soldiers and country. There are no words for the gratitude I have for each and every one of you that have served to protect us.


ESGR Bosslift ProgramChinook 3 ESGR Bosslift Program

ESGR Bosslift Program- Part I

ESGR Bosslift Program- Part I

Barber Trucking’s CFO Tia Young took part in a local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) event last month in Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA. Here is blog post Part I of II where she shares her experience with the ESGR Bosslift program, which she attended as a Barber Trucking liaison, as a way to continue being a truly military friendly employer.

 


In honor of the upcoming July 4th holiday, I’d like to share a recent event that I was privileged and honored to experience. I was asked to participate in the ESGR Boss Lift Program, which you’ll learn more about as you read on.

Barber Trucking has put a great deal of effort towards the recruitment of the current National Guard and Reserve. We strive to provide a stable workforce in which they can enter with appreciation from us, as the employer, being privileged to hire such highly trained, skilled, honorable and valuable employees.

The ESGR event was meant to help the employer understand what the veteran experiences while going through their weekend drill including the innovative equipment and high standard training they endure; however, it did much more than that.

The first day began with an introduction to the program and the schedule of events to take place. We boarded a bus, which would be our primary source of travel, and made our way to the Air Traffic Control Tower for the Bollen Range Fixed Wing Demo. Of course, reading this on the itinerary did not prepare me for the skill and professionalism I was about to witness.

We arrived at the range and made our way to the plot. I gazed up at the massive tower, five floors of aluminum steps towards the small enclosed room that was used by the skilled controllers. They explained their duties and answered the questions of those that braved the climb to the top of the tower.

There were two A10 fighter jets on their way from Baltimore for training and we were asked to evacuate the room and observe from outside on top of the tower. It was a windy day and the tower was slightly rocking side to side but that could not have distracted me from watching the two fighter jets fly in. They flew in so gracefully, turning side to side while diving in the valleys and over the tree tops. Although they appeared graceful, the explosive power which emanated from them as they hit their targets was nothing less than impressive.

I could slightly hear the gentleman inside the tower speaking to the pilots as they described their next target and evaluated their performance on the previous strike. In addition, there were soldiers on the ground pointing lasers at the incoming jets to interfere with the signals from the air traffic control tower similar as to what they would experience from enemies on the ground.

Again, the training and coaching in the execution of the flight performance was distinguishable. We also had the chance to learn about a mobile weather station which is used to determine flying capabilities when out in remote locations. It was quite remarkable, as well, as it was very mobile but also very precise. The capabilities of the mobile station to read the weather of close proximities, as well as the ability to work with other mobile stations to develop a large area readout, was quite impressive.

After the heart racing initial start to the program, we proceeded on to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Monument. This monument is a tall obelisk iron structure which holds the dog tags of fallen soldiers from the War in Iraq. The suspended dog tags create a chime like sound as wind moves through the structure. The sound radiated a solemn feeling, and I took the time to observe every name on the base of the monument representing those that we had lost while serving. I felt an overwhelming amount of gratitude as I read each name engraved.

The next stop was at the Eastern Aviation Training Center, which I understood from conversations to be referred to as “EATS”. We had a chance to participate in a Blackhawk simulator. I must make it clear, however, that it was set to the easiest settings and the movement of the simulator was set to ‘off’. From what I understood from the instructor, the simulator can recreate the movement of a crash at such a high intensity that you could get thrown into a different seat. So, for liability reasons, they had that part of the experience shut off. What a neat experience it was though.

Benjy (Barber Trucking’s Operations Manager), of course, flew it without a hitch and landed, with prior Navy and aviation experience I might add. I crashed a couple of times but was coming into a perfect landing when the screen went white and I inevitably crashed again. I’m blaming that on the fog that the instructor and Benjy decided to throw at me. I quickly learned that instrument reading on the dash is a crucial element when flying. With or without fog, flying a Blackhawk is not simple, nor is the training required before even entering the aircraft.

That evening we had the opportunity to have dinner with the Adjutant General where we were able to discuss the hurdles of hiring veterans and what we can do to help more of our heroes.


Stay tuned for Part II and day two of Tia’s experience with the ESGR Bosslift Program.

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