KALISPELL, Mont. – Despite a busy week spent rescuing Montana citizens stranded by floodwaters, the Montana Army National Guard 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion (1-189th GSAB) was back in training mode for an employer helicopter flight, or boss lift as it is termed, in Kalispell at the end of June. Employers were invited to attend by their service member or by Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (Montana ESGR).
The half-day event acquaints employers with how the Guard and Reserve train to be ready to respond to their community and their country in a time of need. Flight time and moving passengers on and off the aircraft are part of the 1-189th GSAB’s ongoing training.
The 1-189th GSAB’s training regiments were put to good use in June when called upon by local officials to rescue dozens of flood victims and assist with search and rescue operations due to significant flooding in South Central Montana. Since June 13, Montana Army National Guard helicopter crews have rescued 87 people and flown more than 41 hours in support of search and rescue operations.
Dozens of beautiful waterfalls from recent rain were seen on the picturesque flights over Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains. Flooding was evident in the area with fields and roads full of water from overflowing creek and rivers. Snow covered mountains and hidden lakes were seen out the window with the flights over the mountains.
For 50 years, ESGR, a Department of Defense program, has supported workplaces that value employing National Guard and Reserve members. A boss lift offers an opportunity for ESGR volunteers to educate employers about the Uniformed Service Employment Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). This federal law protects the job rights of those who leave a civilian job to perform military service. ESGR is a resource for employers who have questions about hiring or working with a current Reserve Component member. For more information about ESGR visit www. ESGR.mil.
Photo: Montana employers pause for a group photo in front of a Montana Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook Helicopter prior to their flight over the Mission Mountains and Flathead Lake near Kalispell, Montana. The employer flight was part of an educational outreach to local employers by Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense program.
Snow covered mountains and hidden lakes were seen out the window of the boss lift flights over the mountains in the Kalispell area as part of Montana Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's employer outreach event for local bosses in Kalispell this June.