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Civilian Employers of 106th Rescue Wing members take flight

Andrija Dandridge, a watch commander with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, gives a thumbs up sign inside an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter before takeoff at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2018.

Andrija Dandridge, a watch commander with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, gives a thumbs up sign inside an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter before takeoff at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2018. Dandridge is taking part in a boss lift hosted by the 106th Rescue Wing assigned to the New York Air National Guard and the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve.(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Sean Madden)

Matthew R. Rovelli, communications lead for the combat rescue helicopter program at Sikorsky Aircraft, looks out the window of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, while in flight over Westhampton Beach, NY, Oct. 13, 2018.

Matthew R. Rovelli, communications lead for the combat rescue helicopter program at Sikorsky Aircraft, looks out the window of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, while in flight over Westhampton Beach, NY, Oct. 13, 2018. Rovelli is taking part in a boss lift hosted by the 106th Rescue Wing assigned to the New York Air National Guard and the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Sean Madden)

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 106th Rescue Wing assigned to the New York Air National Guard, sits before takeoff loaded with civilian employer passengers at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2018.

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 106th Rescue Wing assigned to the New York Air National Guard, sits before takeoff loaded with civilian employer passengers at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2018. The 106th RQW and the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve are hosting a boss lift event to show gratitude for civilian employers who are supportive of unit member’s military service. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Sean Madden)

Francis S. Gabreski ANGB, NY. (Oct. 14, 2018) – --

Francis S. Gabreski ANGB, NY. (Oct. 14, 2018) –

The 106th Rescue Wing and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) hosted a boss lift for civilian employers of service members Oct. 13, 2018, here.

In total 29 employers participated in the event that took them for a 15-minute ride along the coast of Long Island in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.
Airmen of the wing nominated civilian employers who offered exemplary support of their military service through the ESGR.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve boss lifts are an opportunity to thank those who employ members of the 106th Rescue Wing for their support, said U.S. Air Force Major Matthew T. Forbes, 101st Rescue Squadron Director of Operations at the wing.

The flight was a milestone for at least one employer.

“This was an incredible experience for me,” said Matt Rovelli, combat rescue helicopter communications lead for the combat rescue program at Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut. “I’ve been working at Sikorsky for many years and I’ve never had the opportunity to ride on any of the Blackhawks.”

Rovelli is working on the next generation HH-60W Pave Hawk, which will replace the HH-60G.

“It was really something special to be able to come out here and ride on a Pave Hawk, said Rovelli. “I just had a huge smile across my face the whole time.”

The event was also a milestone at the base.

The boss lift was the first hosted at the 106th Rescue Wing, said Lisa D’Agostino, the Airmen and Family Readiness Program manager and ESGR Military Outreach coordinator, here. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re already scheduling next year’s boss lift.