Civilian Bosses Take Off with 148th Fighter Wing Employees

Supervisors tour the base and take flight during a refueling mission

DULUTH, Minn. – Most service men and women employed at Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing also have civilian jobs.

When they’re gone for deployments or training, it can put stress on their civilian employers.

More than five-hundred members of the 148th recently returned home after a deployment overseas.

Because their civilian bosses were so understanding of their time away, the airmen found a special way to thank them.

Supervisors from twenty-seven local companies and agencies toured the 148th with their service member employees.

“We’ve showed them obviously the operations building here, how we deploy jets, how they’re maintained in our maintenance hangar and we went over to the fire hall as well,” said Jennifer Peterson, who took her boss from Minnesota Power on the tour.

The bosses climbed on board a KC-135 Stratotanker to watch a refueling mission from the skies.

“And actually get to take a look at one of the F–16s, I was amazed how small they are,” said one of the bosses. “We talked to some of the people who actually do the maintenance work and I can’t imagine, I have enough trouble taking care of my car, I can’t imagine taking care of an F–16.”

“Boss Lift” events happen at guard and reserve bases across the country, showing managers what their military employees do while they’re away.

‘”It’s a big sacrifice on our employers, our co–workers that have to cover for the work while we’re away and our supervisors that support us,” said Peterson.

Jennifer Peterson just got back from a deployment in the Middle East.

She brought her Minnesota Power manager, Herb Minke, on the tour to thank him and the company for being understanding.

“It’s just so meaningful as an employee to know that your service is supported when you have to be away,” said Peterson.

Minke enjoyed his time on the base. He says being flexible with military schedules is a commitment worth making.

“I don’t think it’s a sacrifice. I think it’s an obligation and I think when they’re deployed, their families  make a sacrifice, they make a sacrifice, that’s part of what they do,” said Minke, Minnesota Power’s Vice President of Energy Policy and Regulation.

He says military members and veterans make some of the best employees.

“They come in with a set of skills,” said Minke. “They come in with the ability to work in a team, they know about logistics, they’re well organized.”

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