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Press Release
October 21, 2009
Director of Air National Guard visits Portland Air Guard Base
 
PORTLAND, Ore. (October 16, 2009)—Looking toward the future of air sovereignty and mission readiness in the Pacific Northwest, the director of the Air National Guard toured the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland, Ore.

Lt. Gen. Harry M. "Bud" Wyatt III, director of the Air National Guard, visited with Oregon airmen during his two-day trip to the state.

"This is a time of great change for all of us in the Air Force," Wyatt said. "Being able to adapt and grow will be part of that future."

Col. John E. Kent, commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing, escorted Wyatt around the base. During his tour, he met with several airmen who have recently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and officers and airmen who support the full-time alert mission.

Oregon is one of five states who hold the air sovereignty alert mission—with fully-armed jets which are kept ready to respond to threats to national security and local infrastructure.

"The Air National Guard is well suited to meet many of the challenges and expanded roles with even higher responsibilities for Airmen in the future," Wyatt said.

Wyatt was briefed on ways the Oregon Air National Guard can adapt to changes in future mission requirements, as well as developing long range plans to secure fifth-generation fighter aircraft like the F-22 and F-35.

"We have the people and assets already in place," Kent said during the briefing.

The Oregon coast and other parts of the Northwest are also ideal for hosting other units to train because of the training sites and air space size, Kent said.

Wyatt then received a hands-on presentation from airmen of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron. The general was able to try out equipment the unit uses in their combat controller and domestic contingency response missions.

According to 2nd Lt. Scot Berg, 125th STS Operations Officer, the Pacific Northwest presents unique and varied conditions, which call for rigorous training and a high level of readiness.

"With so many adventure sports activities and enthusiasts in this part of the country, our mission to train and ability to recruit is perfectly suited for being here," Berg said.


Photo:

091016-F-8260H-026: Col. John Kent, 142nd Fighter Wing Commander, greets U.S. Air Force Lt. General Harry Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard, as he arrives at the Portland Air National Guard Base, in Portland, Ore., Oct. 15. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office)

091015-F-8260H-036: Oregon Air National Guard Lt. Col. Jeffrey Hwang, shows some of the equipment used by F-15 fighter pilots to Lt. General Harry M. Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard, during the general's tour of the Portland Air National Guard Base, Oct. 15. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office)

091016-F-8260H-008: Oregon Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Anne Kyle greets Director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt, as he arrives at the 142nd Fighter Wing headquarters on October 16. Wyatt toured the Portland Air National Guard Base during a two day visit to Oregon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office)

091016-F-8260H-060: U.S. Air Force Lt. General Harry Wyatt, Director of the Air National Guard discusses the mission of the 142nd Fighter Wing with Oregon Air National Guard Operations Commander, Col. Jeffrey Silver, during Wyatt's tour of the Portland Air National Guard Base, Oct. 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office)

091016-F-8260H-114: Oregon Air National Guard Master Sgt. Luke Thompson, of the 125th Security Forces Squadron, demonstrates a heads-up observation device to Director of the Air National Guard, Lt. General Harry Wyatt, during his tour of the Portland Air National Guard Base, Oct. 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office)
 
Contact Info: Capt. Stephen Bomar, Deputy State Public Affairs Officer, Oregon National Guard: 503-584-3886, or via e-mail: stephen.bomar@us.army.mil