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Press Release
January 14, 2003
National Guard Troops return from Egypt
 
The Oregon Military Department today announced the return of Oregon National Guardsmen, currently deployed to Sinai, Egypt as part of the Multinational Force and Observers mission (MFO).
 
Task Force 186th Infantry, consisting predominantly of citizen-soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry of Southern Ore., will return to Medford on January 17th and January 24th in two groups, each representing roughly half of the deployed battalion’s strength.
 
The battalion has been deployed for eight months as part of the MFO mission, now in its 20th year of maintaining the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt in remote sites located along the Red Sea. Tasked with the mission “Observe and Report” the soldiers have performed, what, in the words of U.S. Ambassador to Egypt David J. Welch, is “extremely important political-military duty in support of a vital peace mission.” The southern Ore. task force was only the second National Guard battalion to execute the mission since its inception. The operation represented the largest overseas deployment of the Oregon National Guard since World War II.
 
The soldiers will return to Medford Airport between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the afternoon of the 17th in three aircraft. They will be met by transport buses that will carry them to the Medford Armory located at 1701 S. Pacific Hwy in Medford.. Friends, family members, and community members will greet the soldiers at the armory for a return celebration there at 2:30 p.m.
 
Newly appointed Governor Ted Kulongowski, Congressman Greg Walden (R, Oregon), southern Oregon, and Oregon’s Adjutant General, Major General Alexander H. Burgin, are among the dignitaries expected to greet the returning troops after their very successful deployment to the Middle East.
 
The second return mission, on January 24th, will take place at approximately the same time as the first, although specific times and details are continuing to evolve.
 
Media is encouraged to contact the Public Affairs Office, at 503.584.3917 for inquiries. On the day of the event, media are authorized to film soldiers arrival at Medford Airport but are encouraged to meet at the Medford Armory to cover soldiers reunion with their families and friends.
 
Refer all inquiries to Major Arnold V. Strong, Public Affairs Officer, or Ms. Kay Fristad, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, at 503.584.3885/3917 or online at arnold.v.strong@mil.state.or.us
 
For more information contact:
 
Major Arnold V. Strong
503-584-3885
or
Kay Fristad
503-584-3917