Guam Airport Hosts NASA High-Altitude Research Plane - United Hub
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Guam Airport hosts NASA high-altitude research plane

By Pete Rapalus, November 02, 2016

We hosted a NASA research team of about 45 people during most of October in our maintenance hangar at Guam International Airport for flights of a high-altitude WB-57F aircraft studying the upper atmosphere, and many employees were invited to drop by to see the aircraft, and talk to the scientists and support personnel.

High-altitude WB-57F aircraftPhoto courtesy of Guam Line Maintenance Manager Rudy Capistrano

The WB-57F arrived on October 9, and is scheduled to leave Guam on the last day of the month. It carries instruments crucial to the Pacific Oxidants, Sulfur, Ice, Dehydration, and cONvection (POSIDON) Experiment, which studies chemistry, cirrus clouds and dehydration in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over the western Pacific.

Employees Exploring NASA AircraftPhoto courtesy of Guam Line Maintenance Manager Rudy Capistrano

The POSIDON mission provided scientists a unique opportunity to make high-altitude aircraft measurements in an important part of the atmosphere. These observations will improve predictions of future changes in climate and the ozone layer.

NASA Research Team Member in AircraftPhoto courtesy of Guam Line Maintenance Manager Rudy Capistrano

Guam Line Maintenance Manager Rudy Capistrano said the team's mission and instrumentation were fascinating to observe at such close proximity, and along with station management he thanked NASA for allowing employees to see the aircraft up close and meet the team members.

"This has been a great experience for us, and we would gladly welcome NASA back in the future," Capistrano said.

Employees observe POSIDON projectPhoto courtesy of NASA

"It was interesting to be able to meet the scientists and talk with them about the research they were doing," said Technical Operations Commercial Sales Manager Lu Brigham, who helped arrange the residency. "The plane was fascinating — it was smaller than one of our regional jets, but with a very large wingspan, and had just enough room for two people and the research instruments. The plane flies so high the two on board have to wear pressurized suits like astronauts."

Marilyn Vasques is the POSIDON Project Manager and the POSIDON Project Scientist is Eric Jensen of the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. In addition to Capistrano and Guam Facilities Manager Chuck Sova, Lu credited a number of other co-workers who were central to the endeavor, especially Government Contracts Attorney Karen Botterud and Associate General Counsel Matt Wexley; Risk Management Insurance Managers Rose Anne Gillespie and Lori Wade; Tech Ops Sales Contract Manager Michelle Freeman; Corporate Security Regional Manager Tom Berkemeyer and Micronesia Sales Senior Manager Paula Monk

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

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