Estimated reading time 9 minutes, 7 seconds.
In honor of the U.S. Air Force 76th birthday, Bell Textron Inc. employees joined together to commemorate their dedicated service during a company-wide celebration.
Bell’s military-employee resource group (ERG), VORTEX, hosted the event and was attended by veterans across the enterprise, ranging from engineers to pilots, coming together to commemorate the day and enjoy the cookout.
“VORTEX is proud to help connect Bell’s veterans with opportunities to honor their sacrifices and service,” said Aaron Vincent, VORTEX co-chair, Bell. “Today’s event highlights the strong, interconnected military community at Bell. Seeing people come together to celebrate their coworkers, supervisors, and themselves, is why we do what we do.”
At Bell, nearly one in five employees is a military veteran or reservist. VORTEX is dedicated to providing veteran employees with a multitude of mentorship and volunteer opportunities throughout the year, including celebrating their accomplishments, hosting networking events, and assisting with the transition from military service to the civilian sector.
In honor of the Air Forces’ birthday, hear from a few veterans on how they are still aiming high – now, while at Bell.
David Albin, Bell’s V-22 Nacelle Readiness program manager
For 20 years, Albin served active-duty and in the New Mexico Air National Guard as a helicopter and tiltrotor instructor pilot. During his Air Force career, Albin flew over 2,200 flight hours and completed more than 200 combat sorties in the Bell UH-1H, Bell UH-1N, Bell Huey II, and Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Following his flight career in the Air Force, David joined Bell as the Bell Boeing V-22 Nacelle Improvement (NI) program manager.
When asked about why he chose to start his journey at Bell, Albin shares, “I chose to work at Bell due to the opportunities to continue solving challenges and leading teams while supporting the same aircraft I proudly flew throughout my military career. Since joining Bell, my work has been highly relatable to my military experience since I have handled sustainment of the fielded V-22 platform as well managing the CV-22 Nacelle Improvement program.”
“Bell’s assistance transitioning from active duty to civil service was outstanding. In fact, while here at Bell I continued flying CV-22s in the New Mexico Air National Guard for eight years until I retired in 2022. The flexibility, understanding and support to continue flying CV-22s in the Guard while working at Bell was phenomenal, and the support network of fellow veterans here at Bell is awesome.”
After working as an Air Force military journalist in the Pacific covering stories such as medical training missions in remote villages and interoperability between forces, Hernandez became one of the few journalists selected to embed within forward operating bases in Afghanistan to report on combat and trainings.
From there, Hernandez taught at the Defense Information School (DINFOS) where he trained more than 300 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in broadcast journalism. After making his transition to civil service, Hernandez joined Bell’s Strategic Communications department as the senior military communications strategist.