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Press Release
January 09, 2006
A Company, 249th Aviation, Oregon Army National Guard formal demobilization ceremony set for Tuesday
The official demobilization ceremony for the members of A Co., 249th Aviation, Oregon Army National Guard will be held at 2 p.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility located at 1921 Tuner Road SE, Salem, Ore.
Brigadier General Ray Byrne, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General, Army will be on hand to officially welcome them back to the state of Oregon and to recognize their accomplishments in a hostile theater of operations.
Family, friends and members of the media are encouraged to attend this ceremony which marks the completion of a highly successful deployment into Iraq.
These Soldiers return to Oregon as recipients of a distinguished award for their efforts in theatre. A Company 249 Aviation has been selected as the Army Aviation Fixed Wing Unit of the Year.
A/249 Aviation Company is made up of four detachments from four states including Oregon. The unit was mobilized in December 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A/249 soldiers flew more than 1000 missions in Iraq in C-23 Sherpas logging approximately 5207 flight hours and transporting more than 4 million pounds of cargo. A number of equipment modifications were identified to increase the survivability of the C-23 aircraft and enhance safety and situational awareness. Two of the key modifications included Ballistic Blankets which help protect the aircraft from small arms fire and aircraft survivability equipment.
This is the second Army Aviation Unit of the Year Award for the Oregon Army National Guard. The 1042nd Medical Company Air Ambulance received this award in 2002.
The following Oregon National Guard Soldiers make up Alpha 249th Aviation Company:
SSG Christopher Brown – Salem, Oregon
SFC Richard Fields – Salem, Oregon
SGT Michael Hagerman – Milton Freewater, Oregon
CW4 David Larson – Independence, Oregon
CW3 Daniel McCarron – Dallas, Oregon
CW4 Joseph Mollahan – McMinnville, Oregon
SSG John Mueller – Molalla, Oregon
CPT Devin Wickenhagen – Portland, Oregon
CW4 Paul Zenchenko – Coos Bay, Oregon

Capt Mike Braibish
cell 503-932-5805

Kay Fristad
cell 503-931-5179