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Press Release
May 8, 2003
1249th Engineers to Remain in United States; Unit to deploy throughout Washington and Oregon
 
Salem, Ore. - The 1249th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Salem, Ore., has received its mission orders. Originally mobilized as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the unit will now deploy to provide command and control to the security missions of vital military locations across the states of Wash. and Ore. "The unit is excited to have their mission," said Lt. Col. Bill Schutz, commander of the 1249th. "After a period of mission uncertainty, the 1249th is proud to deploy as part of America’s homeland security task force," he continued.
 
Currently based at their mobilization station of Fort Lewis, Wash., the 1249th will provide command and control of the security missions at McChord Air Force Base, in Tacoma, Fairchild Air Force Base, near Spokane, Portland Air National Guard Base and the Umatilla Army Depot in Eastern Oregon. The unit will also assume the actual security mission for Umatilla, providing 280 soldiers to man security posts throughout the depot. The year-long mission begins in June.
 
"Although we were planning to use our engineering skills in helping to rebuild Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the fact that our troops are participating in as vital a mission as homeland defense here in the Northwest, where they will have more regular contact with their family members and friends is very encouraging," said Schutz.
 
For all queries, please contact Maj. Arnold V. Strong at the numbers above.
 
For more information contact:
 
Maj. Arnold Strong
 503-584-3885 or 503-580-2645