Connect with us

Local News

Billings business community invited on a helicopter flight by the Montana Army National Guard



Billings, Montana – On Friday, the Montana Army National Guard and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) welcomed area business leaders for an up-close look at daily operations. The event was hosted by the Montana Army National Guard.

“Today we have our Employer Support of the Guard Reserve event, so we’ve invited the members of the community that employ National Guard members, Air National Guard members, and reserve members, to come up and show them what we do in aviation here in Billings,” said Maj. Dustin Horswill, commander of the Limited Aviation Support Facility in Billings, on Friday. “ESGR events are incredible events. The atmosphere with the people that are here is just great because they really want to be here and see what we do.”

It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have a close look at the operations.

“On a day-to-day basis up here, we have 13 employees. But on a drill weekend, that surges to 40-60 people that we’ll have in Billings. Especially when we get our new facility built out here in the next couple years, then that will surge some more of that 60,” Horswill said. “We fly out of here daily doing training missions. We do progression, making sure that our pilots and crew chiefs receive the training that they need to do to be fully qualified. That’s actually what we’re doing here today, is training missions. We just invite other people along to go out and see what we do.”

More than eighty area businesses were represented at the event that was held at the Limited Aviation Support Facility in Billings, which is situated at 2121 Hanger Dr.

“I was invited because of our involvement with the Chamber of Commerce. I am the co-chair of Billings Next Gen, and I sit on the DEI Advisory board for the Chamber as well, so I was extended the invite through those groups,” said D’Vaughn Hayes, field marketing manager at TDS Fiber, on Friday. “I think that events like this are a great way to further the connection with the community. Having as many business members as they do here today shows that that support is growing, and we’re really proud to be a part of that at TDS Fiber.”

Hayes characterized this possibility as a long-awaited realization of a dream.

“It’s an honor, honestly. I’m really excited for the opportunity to fly on one of these bad boys because that’s always been kind of like a childhood dream of mine,” Hayes said. “To be one of the organizations to get to hear the presentation of how we can collaborate with the military is incredible. I’m honored to be here.”

A sentiment that was shared by Isiac Hammer, a representative of the Chamber.

“The Billings Chamber is all about business development. Connecting our businesses. So the great thing about the presentation that ESGR’s done, is we brought in all of our major employers. We sent an invite out to our major employers to come and learn from this presentation of what ESGR is to support the National Guard and the employees of the National Guard. So it’s a really unique scenario to do business-to-business and really connect them in that route,” Hammer said. “They want to make sure that they’re building connections with major employers, so it’s really unique.”

Hammer stated that in his opinion, one of the primary purposes of this event is to unite the local Army National Guard and business community.

“I think a big portion of it is the connection, right? When you see Billings and you see Yellowstone County, it’s connections,” Hammer said. “We can connect with our military with our businesses. And so, I think that’s a big portion of what this presentation is, is just connecting the two of them together.”

Connecting—while enjoying a rare opportunity.

“We’re really excited to kind of showcase our helicopters, our job. Really talk about how we can support the state of Montana, the city of Billings, and the local populous,” Horswill said. “It’s great, these are awesome events. We really enjoy it.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *