Civilian employers visit Rickenbacker

  • Published
  • By Airman Ashley Williams
  • 121st Air Refueling Wing
The Ohio National Guard (ONG) Central Joint Employer Event, hosting employers from around the state, was held at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base on April 9.

The employers, nominated by the guardsmen that work for them, were invited to spend the day learning about Ohio National Guard missions and the responsibilities of Guard members via numerous hands-on demonstrations.

"We host these events to thank our civilian-employer partners for the support they provide our service members and to help them understand our unique national defense and homeland response missions.  These people are great patriots and without them, our Soldiers and Airmen couldn't sustain the high levels of readiness and responsiveness our current environment demands," stated the event host, Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio Assistant Adjutant General for Army. 

Activities that the employers participated in included a UH-60 Black Hawk orientation flight, touring a KC-135 Stratotanker static display, and hands-on static displays of various Army vehicles and weapons.

"I grew up in a military family, I have family in the Air Force, so I am sensitive to the needs of the military," said Bryant Whitcomb, group leader at Honda R&D. "I don't think most people understand the level of importance of the Guard and the responsibilities of those serving."

"Industry day was a real eye-opener," said Frank Beafore, executive director with SelectTech GeoSpatial.  "Having Maj. Gen. Harris lead the presentations was very educational.  He bleeds ONG. I was particularly interested in the CBRN response system and the personnel and equipment.  I hope we will never have to use it, but I feel more confident having the equipment and personnel."

The Ohio National Guard Joint Employer Event was an all-day event bringing the guardsmen and their employers together to form a stronger bond.