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Press Release
February 27, 2004
Leadership Working Several Options to Get Oregon Guardsmen Home
Salem, OR - The leadership of the Oregon National Guard is pursuing multiple avenues to facilitate the return of hundreds of Oregon National Guard members from Ft. Polk, Louisiana, to Oregon during an unexpected leave period to take place early next month. Brig. Gen. Ray Byrne, Jr., The Acting Adjutant General of Oregon, along with senior Oregon National Guard staff is researching several viable options in order to return these citizen soldiers home with limited personal expense.
Currently the Oregon Military Department is looking at the legality of tapping into the Air Mobility Command, in support of a request from Sen. Ron Wyden (D) Ore. Additionally, the OMD is researching through the active military chain of command, the use of the “GO-PAX” program which taps into the strategic civil reserve air fleet for such emergency military uses.
“It is important to remember that, once these citizen-soldiers are federalized, they are no longer under the direct command and control of this headquarters,” said Byrne. “However, we are pursuing every option possible, to include speaking to the highest levels of their active duty chain of command, to ensure that these patriots are offered every opportunity to reunite with their families and loved ones prior to this year long deployment to Iraq,” he concluded.
Furthermore, if this request is validated, the command is researching options to facilitate reimbursement or other compensation of air fares purchased by soldiers and their families, should military or other transport become available.
Additional information will be published as soon as it is available.
For queries, please contact the Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office at 503.584.3917.
For more information contact:
Maj. Arnold V. Strong