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Press Release
October 03, 2006
Oregon Guard personnel will deploy to southern states to help Customs
The Oregon National Guard will send 35 more volunteer soldiers and airmen to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection under Operation "Jump Start" in four southern border states, the Oregon Military Department announced Tuesday.
Under Operation Jump Start, the federal government has sought volunteers to help with surveillance, civil engineering projects, administrative support, and training along the border with Mexico. The deployment of Oregon Guard personnel will take place under an agreement Governor Ted Kulongoski concluded with the U.S. Department of Defense in July. The agreement provides that Guardsmen and women who volunteer for service on the Mexico-U.S. border may do so, and gives the Governor authority to recall the personnel if an emergency occurs in Oregon, such as wildfire or flooding.
The first group of volunteers from Oregon deployed Oct. 1, with 35 more scheduled for deployment later in the month. Beginning on Oct.1, the following deployment schedule took effect:
• Oct. 1: twelve airmen to Arizona
• Oct. 3: one airman to Arizona
• Oct. 4: four soldiers to Arizona
• Oct. 18: twenty-seven soldiers to Arizona, and four to New Mexico
A handful of airmen spent part of August and September in Arizona as part of an advance team to work out the details of the deployment. All the soldiers and airmen are volunteers who will deploy under Title 32 in a status called "Active Duty for Special Work." The deployment is federally funded.
The Oregon troops will be specialists in medical, administrative, communications, and civil engineering. None of the Oregon National Guard volunteers will take part in law enforcement activities.
Readiness remains a primary concern for the Oregon National Guard, both for the Guard as a whole and for individual soldiers and airmen. The deployments in support of Operation Jump Start allow soldiers and airmen to apply their skills in their primary specialties, and enable them to enhance their individual readiness. Operation Jump Start lets volunteers seek extended employment opportunities in their individual military specialties.
Capt. Mike Braibish, spokesperson for the Oregon National Guard, says that Operation Jump Start is an excellent opportunity for some of Oregon's unemployed and under-employed soldiers and airmen to lock in an 18- to 24-month tour.
"At the same time, they will improve their skills in their military specialties," Braibish said.
The Oregon Guard presently maintains more than 900 members in Afghanistan and other overseas locations. The 41st Personnel Services Company, with 44 soldiers headquartered in Salem, will return from Kuwait after a 15-month deployment later this month.
The number of deploying troops will likely fluctuate over time, but will remain manageable to allow the Oregon Guard to sustain readiness for state emergencies, Braibish said. The leadership of the Oregon National Guard sought to enable soldiers and airmen who could benefit most from full-time deployment to volunteer for Operation Jump Start.
Contact Info:
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office
Kay Fristad
cell 503-931-5179
Capt Mike Braibish
cell 503-932-5805