|Governor Kulongoski to see off soldiers at Portland Air National Guard Base
At about 10 a.m. today Governor Ted Kulongoski will bid farewell to soldiers as they depart from Portland Air National Guard Base to support hurricane Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans.
Media who wish to see the departure should report to the Overend Gate at PANG no later than 9:30 a.m.
Several hundred soldiers and airmen of the Oregon National Guard are departing from both PANG and Kingsley Field at Klamath Falls this week. They will fall in on Joint Task Force Oregon which established a command presence in New Orleans earlier this week.
The ORNG began mobilizing soldiers and airmen for the relief effort last week. Starting Friday, the Oregon Guard began sending more than 150 troops to the city to establish a foothold and begin operations. Within days of notification, security forces and military police began patrolling their sector of New Orleans.
The first soldiers to arrive were from the 1186 Military Police Company based out of Salem and Milton-Freewater. They soldiers were joined the next day by airmen from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland and the 173rd Fighter Wing in Klamath Falls.
The Oregon Army National Guard's 41st Brigade Combat Team and several Oregon Air National Guard units will also deploy. An additional 1500 soldiers and airmen will go to New Orleans throughout the remainder of this week. JTF-Oregon will be able to sustain full spectrum operations without resupply for at least two weeks.
The mission is to support civilian law enforcement and restore stability as the city begins recovery efforts.
The 272 Combat Communications Squadron is preparing to depart for New Orleans on Wednesday. They will provide vital communication links to state and federal entities for the 41st BCT.
This is the first time the Oregon National Guard has deployed a Joint Force of both soldiers and airmen.
State Public Affairs Office
Capt Mike Braibish
Capt Misti Mazzia