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Press Release
October 03, 2006
Oregon National Guard and Bureau of Land Management to enter long-term lease
The Oregon National Guard and the Bureau of Land Management will sign a long-term lease Oct 4 at the Biak Training Center at 10 a.m.. that ends decades of renewed short-term permits and expands use of the area by about 12,000 acres.
The thirty year lease will bring total acreage usable by the ORNG for training to from about 31,000 to nearly 43,000. It also ends decades of using short-term permits, and it makes capital investment for improving the training site possible.
Media are welcome to attend the ceremony which takes place in Brett Hall, 20801 SW Frank McCaffery Rd, Powell Butte.
This lease is the culmination of nearly 12 years of cooperative work between the Oregon Military Department and the Bureau of Land Management. The Oregon Military Department served as a cooperating agency to the BLM's Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, a process resource management planning process that took five years to complete from 2001 through 2005. The completion of that resource management plan cleared the way for the Oregon Military Department and the Bureau of Land Management to replace the short term land use permit system with a more stable long term lease in which the two agencies will work together into the future as cooperating land management agencies.
The history of Biak Training center can be traced back to WWII when central Oregon served the community as a training hub for the US Army and US Army Air Force. Following a short post war dormant period, local Oregon National Guard units started utilized the public lands as a local training site for maneuver operations in 1949. This initiated the use of short term land use permits between the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Military Department, a short term renewable permit system which continued until today.
In 1986, the Federal Government developed a Night Vision Test site which resulted in the construction of the current buildings at Biak (Brett Hall) and the Oregon Youth Challenge Program, on Dodds Road. The Central Oregon Unit Training Equipment Facility broke ground in its current location, just east of the Redmond's Roberts Field Airport in 1988. With the ending of the "Cold War", the Night Vision Test site was closed and the facilities in Bend and Powell Butte were turned over to the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Oregon Military Department subsequently requested of both the Army Corps of Engineers and the BLM the usage of the properties now known as Brett Hall and Training Area "C" and in 1990 was awarded usage of those facilities.
With the combined permitted and withdrawn lands, the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon Military Department continued the short term three year permit land use process in 1992 and placed the training site under the command and control of 1-82 Cavalry. The Training Site Command was established in 1993 and the training center was informally named "High Desert Training Center." Biak Training Center was formally dedicated July 11, 1999.
Contact Info:
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office
Kay Fristad
cell 503-931-5179
Capt Mike Braibish
cell 503-932-5805