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Press Release
July 13, 2009
Oregon Aviation unit returns home
 
The Oregon Army National Guard welcomed home members of one of their aviation units during an official demobilization ceremony on July 13, in Salem, Ore.

Members of the 2-641 Aviation spent a one-year deployment to Iraq, supporting aviation missions there.

About 20 members of the 2-641 Aviation returned on July 10. They joined 35 other soldiers from the first rotation who returned in August 2008. Each rotation spent six months in Iraq.

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, thanked the soldiers for their service and sacrifice, but also paused to recognize the families and employers for their sacrifice as well.

"Oregon thanks you for a job well done," the governor said. "You personify the very ideal of the citizen-soldier."

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joseph Mollahan said the wide ranges of ages and levels of experience helped with the overall success of the mission.

"The diversity of the people in that group made the deployment a class act," he said. "The spectrum of people really allowed us to accomplish a lot more."

One of the local employers, Rogue Brewery, distributed to all the unit's soldiers free bottles of a limited edition beer called "Aviator Ale", featuring the unit's crest.

Unit commander, Lt. Col. Christian F. Rees, said in addition to theater aviation operations, the unit took part in moving about 10 tons of cargo over the course of their deployment, as well as assisted with real-world medical evacuation missions along with the Oregon MEDEVAC company, Charlie 7-158 Aviation.

"Morale and motivation was high," he said. "I was very impressed by the unit's soldiers and their work ethic."

The unit conducted flight missions, transported equipment and personnel, and supported other units' missions during their combined one-year deployment.

Photo:

090713-F-1639C-010: Rogue Brewery bottled a limited run of "Aviator Ale" to commemorate the return of Oregon Army National Guard's 2-641 Aviation, from a deployment to Iraq. The unit was honored during a demobilization ceremony held July 13 in Salem, Ore. The unit conducted flight missions, transported equipment and personnel, and supported other units' missions over the course of one year. (Photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).

090713-F-1639C-053: Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski (left) and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard (center), welcome home soldiers from the Oregon Army National Guard's 2-641 Aviation during a demobilization ceremony in Salem, Ore., July 13, following their deployment to Iraq. Twenty soldiers from the second rotation returned to Oregon on July 10. Another 35 soldiers, who returned home in August 2008, joined them at the ceremony. (Photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
 
 
Contact Info:
 
Kay Fristad
503-584-3917 or 503-931-5179