HomeNewsArticle Display

Employers learn Duke mission

An employer of a 919th Special Operations Wing reservist checks out the view of the Emerald Coast from the back of a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1.  The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

An employer of a 919th Special Operations Wing reservist checks out the view of the Emerald Coast from the back of a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1. The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

An employer of a 919th Special Operations Wing reservist checks out the view of the Emerald Coast from the window of a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1.  The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

An employer of a 919th Special Operations Wing reservist checks out the view of the Emerald Coast from the window of a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1. The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

More than 20 employers of 919th Special Operations Wing reservists climb aboard a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1.  The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

More than 20 employers of 919th Special Operations Wing reservists climb aboard a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1. The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

Employers of 919th Special Operations Wing reservists check out the view of the Emerald Coast from the back of a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1.  The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

Employers of 919th Special Operations Wing reservists check out the view of the Emerald Coast from the back of a MC-130E Combat Talon I during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1. The employers attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Greg Lobman, of the 919th Maintenance Squadron, points to a display that shows the inner workings of a C-130 engine during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1.  More than 20 employers of 919th reservists attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

Master Sgt. Greg Lobman, of the 919th Maintenance Squadron, points to a display that shows the inner workings of a C-130 engine during an employer-day tour at Duke Field, Fla. Dec. 1. More than 20 employers of 919th reservists attended the tour for a better understanding of how their workers contribute to the Air Force and special operations mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Samuel King Jr.)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Reservists at Duke Field's 919th Special Operations Wing rely heavily on support from their civilian employers to help them accomplish their mission. Their support was rewarded recently when the wing held its annual Employer Appreciation Day here Dec. 1.

The half-day event offered invited employers a first-hand look at how their "Citizen Commandos" defend America's interests on a global scale. It also gave the wing and its leadership a prime opportunity to thank the employers for their steadfast support.

The tour began with at the 919th Maintenance Group's propulsion flight, where Airmen briefed the more than 20 employers and fielded questions about their maintenance regimens. It was followed by a comprehensive wing mission briefing delivered by Col. Anthony Comtois, the 919th SOW commander.

"You help make the Reserve mission possible," said Comtois. "Your support provides our Airmen peace of mind in their full-time career so they can focus on operations here with the 919th."

The event was capped off when the employers boarded an MC-130E aircraft for a local area flight. It was an opportunity to see a 711th Special Operations Squadron aircrew in action and get a Talon's-eye view of the Emerald Coast.

Sharon Patterson and Indira Hammerschmidt, two employers with Cox Communications, said the flight and subsequent view capped off what was a very eye-opening day.

"I had no idea (my employee) was part of the special operations forces," said Patterson. "It takes so many people to make your mission happen. There are many more reserve volunteers than I had ever imagined."