Friday, August 31, 2012

Oregon's Soldiers put the 'boom' in 1812 Overture

Citizen-Soldiers with the 2-218 Field Artillery, Oregon Army National Guard, demonstrate the abilities and features of their howitzers at the Oregon Symphony Waterfront Park Concert, Aug. 30, in Portland, Ore.
The howitzers have become a tradition at the concert, firing during the playing of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture.
Photo by Sgt. Jason van Mourik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oregon Airman recognized during 2012 ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year ceremony

Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air National Guard, and Chief Master Sgt.
Christopher E. Muncy, the command chief master sergeant to the director of the ANG, present Senior Master Sgt. Luke W. Thompson, 125th Special Tactics Squadron, Oregon ANG, with the Outstanding Airman Ribbon during the 2012 ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year awards ceremony at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 22.

The ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year ceremony recognizes the ANGs six top performers for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.

National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oregon National Guard participates in Salute the Troops event

120825-Z-PL933-009 by oregonmildep
120825-Z-PL933-009, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

A boy looks through the sights of a Howitzer, part of the display put on by the Oregon Army National Guard at the 2012 Salute the Troops 125 race event at the Portland International Raceway, in Portland, Ore., Aug. 25-26. This is the fourth year that the Oregon Army National Guard has participated in this event. Photo by Sgt. Jason Van Mourik, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Oregon Army National Guard assists with Barry Point Fire in southern central Oregon

Oregon Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopters stage at the Lakeview Helibase to assist with the Barry Point fire in south central Oregon, Aug. 18. So far the fire, which has scortched nearly 94,000 acres, is almost 50 percent contained. Photo courtesy of Charlie 7-158 Aviation, Oregon Army National Guard.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Oregon Army National Guard, Coast Guard conduct week-long training exercise

ASTORIA, Ore. — Coast Guard Sector Columbia River’s Vessel Boarding Security Team and the Oregon Army National Guard 102nd Civil Support Team trained together in Astoria this week to prepare for potential chemical and/or radiation threats posed by vessels entering the Columbia River.

In the event that the Coast Guard VBST discovers high levels of radiation or unfamiliar chemicals aboard a vessel, the CST would be called upon to identify the material, and decontaminate the vessel and any members of the team with whom it had come into contact.

The teams worked together in a real world scenario April 8, 2011, when the freight vessel Pan Pac Spirit was cleared to enter the Columbia River. Both teams boarded the vessel, which had recently transited through potentially contaminated waters in the vicinity of Fukushima, Japan. The VBST provided security and basic radiation detection while the CST offered more technologically advanced radiological and chemical detecting capabilities.

Coast Guard members from Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wash., assist a member of the Oregon National Guard 102nd Civil Support Team aboard the Tongue Point Job Corps training vessel Ironwood during a training exercise in Astoria, Thursday, August 16, 2012. The exercise was part of week-long joint training operation hosted by Sector Columbia River. (Coast Guard photo by Fireman Loumania Stewart.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

1186 Military Police Company commander discusses tour in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - Maj. Jack Gillentine, commander of the 1186 Military Police Company, an Oregon Army National Guard unit currently deployed in Kabul, Afghanistan, discusses his unit's past year in a video interview conducted by the Oregon Guard's 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

The interview is available on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System website:

The 1186 MP Co., consisting of approximately 180 Oregon Citizen-Soldiers from throughout the state, deployed to Afghanistan in October 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit provides force protection, personal security for high profile visitors, and trains the Afghan National Police in their area. The unit is scheduled to return to Oregon in fall 2012.

The 115 MPAD, consisting of approximately 18 Oregon Citizen-Soldiers, arrived in Afghanistan in July. The unit provides theater-level public affairs support with print and broadcast media operations.

Monday, August 13, 2012

41 Special Troops Battalion awarded Meritorious Unit Citation

120811-A-AS714-001 by oregonmildep
120811-A-AS714-001, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Lt. Col. Sean Nikkila (center), commander of the 41 Special Troops Battalion, affixes a Meritorious Unit Citation streamer to the battalion’s guidon as Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Foesch (left) looks on during an award ceremony at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., August 11. The battalion received the Meritorious Unit Citation for exceptionally meritorious service while conducting convoy and base security operations during their 2009-2010 deployment to Iraq with 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jalayna Lagomarsino, 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oregon Soldiers assist coastal communities with emergency preparation

20120810-A-PL933-003 by oregonmildep
20120810-A-PL933-003, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Above: Spc. Corey Buoy and Spc. Franklin Dominguez, with the 3670th Maintenance Company ground support platoon, conduct preventive care and maintenance work on a military generator used by the City of Seaside as a back up power source in their Water Works section, Aug. 10. The 3670th Maintenance Company provides basic care and preventative maintenance to generators in several coastal cities. Along with maintaining the generators, Citizen-Soldiers also train the local employees on the proper care of older military generators. (Photo by Sgt. Jason van Mourik, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard)

SEASIDE, Ore. - Citizen-Soldiers with the 3670th Maintenance Company ground support platoon, 82 Brigade, Oregon Army National Guard, assisted Oregon coastal communities with equipment repair and maintenance in preparation for natural disasters and emergencies, Aug. 10, in Seaside, Ore.

Soldiers trained City Water Works employees in Seaside the proper preventative care and maintenance for older military generators used as back up systems in case of emergencies and disasters.

"We've had nothing but positive feedback from the groups we support," said Chief Warrant Officer 3, Tim Coronado, a ground support maintenance equipment engineer with the 3670th. "My soldiers love going out and working in the local communities, it helps build relationships across the board."

There are approximately six different communities that request maintenance and training support throughout the year.

"We send out our contact teams during our annual training," said Maj.
Richard Ybarra, 3670th company commander. "The communities understand that it provides training to our Soldiers and the local employees. It's a win-win situation."

Cities like Seaside may not always be able to purchase brand new back up generators, and that's where the local relationships with the Oregon Army National Guard and 3670th Maintenance Company help out.

"This is a key partnership that we have with the communities," said Brig. Gen. Eric Bush, 82 Brigade Commander. "It dovetails nicely with the concept of military support to civilian authorities and building relationships at the local level."

Repairing generators and building community relationships, Soldiers of the 3670th hope to continue on with the program as long as they are needed.

"It's not about getting recognition for what we do," said Coronado. "It's about training our Soldiers and lending a hand to our neighbors."

To see the rest of the photos from this set, visit our official Flickr page.

Story by Sgt. Jason Van Mourik,
Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office

Miss Oregon volunteers at Operation Homefront's Back to School Brigade event

120810-F-TK422-010 by oregonmildep
120810-F-TK422-010, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Nichole Mead, Miss Oregon 2012, speaks to children of Oregon National Guard members during Operation Homefront’s Back to School Brigade event at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., Aug. 10.

The event, organized by the Oregon Chapter of Operation Homefront, gave school supplies and backpacks to children of Oregon National Guard members at no cost. Mead helped participants pick out school supplies and backpacks donated by Dollar Tree.

Oregon National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.

To see the rest of the photos from this event, visit our official Flickr page, where you can also download the high resolution images.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oregon Air National Guard unit recognized with AF Outstanding Unit Award

120804-Z-NJ935-007 by oregonmildep
120804-Z-NJ935-007, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Capt. Michael R. Balzotti, commander of the 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron, accepts the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award on behalf of his unit from Brig. Gen. Steven D. Gregg, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, at Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, Ore., Aug. 4. (Oregon Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson, 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.-The 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron (ATCS) of the Oregon Air National Guard received the 2011 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award presented by Brig. Gen. Steven D. Gregg, the Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, at Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, Oregon, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.

The award cited a range of accomplishments by the 270th ATCS, "from providing fixed base Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities for the only F-15 training site, to training and deploying air traffic controllers and maintenance personnel to every Area of Responsibility (AOR)."

The award also stated that, "The unit deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, serving as Ground Radar Systems Craftsman and significantly contributed to over 2,600 hours of successful operational surveillance, tracking more than 155,000 aircraft ... with zero mishaps."

This the seventh consecutive year the 270th has earned the AF Outstanding Unit Award.

"It is an honor to add another award to your list of accomplishments," Gregg said. "We are proud you are a part of the Oregon Guard team."

Lieutenant General Harry M. Wyatt III, Director, Air National Guard, passed along his personal congratulations writing, "The selection for this prestigious award reflects great credit upon the 270th ATCS, the State of Oregon, and the Air National Guard."

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon, also extended his personal congratulations for a job well done.

Derouin assumes command of Oregon Army National Guard Aviation unit inSalem

The Oregon Army National Guard conducted a change of command ceremony for its aviation unit, 2 Battalion, 641 Aviation Regiment, Aug. 4, in Salem, Ore.

Outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Mark Ulvin, welcomed incoming commander, Lt. Col. Pete Derouin, after a two-year stint that included more than 30 search and rescue missions.

After taking command in August of 2010, Ulvin oversaw the deployment of all seven of his subordinate flying units across the globe and nation. He has flown more than 4,000 hours in the UH-60 and C-12 aircrafts and currently performs duties as an instructor pilot and maintenance examiner for Blackhawk helicopters.

Derouin served as the Balkans operation officer for U.S. Army Europe after 9-11 before commanding the Ft. Hood Regional Flight Center. In 2004-05, he deployed to Iraq as executive officer executive officer for Operational Support Airlift Command's Theatre Aviation Battalion, and was responsible for all Army fixed-wing aircraft with passenger and cargo transport in Iraq.

The 2-641 Aviation Regt. provides theater aviation operations when deployed including cargo and troop transport. The battalion also has command and control of Army National Guard aviation assets providing aviation support across the state for various missions including search and rescue and wild land fire fighting support.

120804-A-FS713-323 by oregonmildep
120804-A-FS713-323, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Above: Oregon Army National Guard Brig. Gen Eric Bush (center), Assistant Adjutant General-Army, transfers the 2 Battalion, 641 Aviation Regiment colors from Lt. Col. Mark Ulvin (left), outgoing unit commander, to Lt. Col. Pete Derouin (right), incoming unit commander, during a change of command ceremony, Aug. 4, in Salem, Ore. The aviation battalion provides theater aviation operations including cargo and troop transport, and has command and control of Army National Guard aviation assets which provide aviation support across the state for various missions including search and rescue and wild land fire fighting support. (Photo by Sgt. Cory Grogan, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Thunderbirds visit Redhawks

DSC_4979 by oregonmildep
DSC_4979, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Air Force Thunderbirds visit the Portland Air National Guard Base, Aug. 3. The group participated in the Oregon International Airshow at the Hillsboro Airport Aug. 4-5. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DoD issues 2012 election year guidance for all service members

The DoD has issued its 2012 election year guidance for all servicemembers.  Hopefully it will help you avoid the pitfall that Army Cpl. Jesse Thorsen hit when he agreed to speak at a Ron Paul rally in January 2012.  In other words, you don't want to be "that guy".

The big difference this year is that the DoD has provided a Q & A section and a section addressing Online/Social Media issues.  This guidance can be found here.

The guidance encourages all members of the military and their families to exercise their civic duties by registering to vote.  However, it also cautions in several key areas.  The bottom line appears to be that the DoD encourages all military members and their families to be involved in the political process, but to not express opinions about political issues as a representative of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Below is a distillation of the memorandum issued June 26, 2012.  To see the full text of the memorandum, go here.

1. Use Army Regulation AR 360-1 regarding political candidates' request to use military facilities.  Of note, installation commanders are prohibited from allowing military facilties by any candidate for political assemblies, fundraisers, meetings, press conferences or any other activity that could be construed as political in nature.

2. While elected officials may still visit military installations on official business, they must refrain from making campaign or election-related statements or responding to campaign or election-related queries while on the installation.

3. While elected officials and political candidates may use footage, photographs and recorded statements taken while on an installation visit for campaing or election-related purposes, they may not utilize said footage or recordings to imply that military personnel or the DoD endorses the candidate or official.  Furthermore, candidates and political officials may not film campaign commercials at military installations.

4. Army participation or support, in the way of troops, bands, and color guards ay not be used in political meetings, ceremonies or similar events.  Requests for DoD members to speak at non-DoD events should be scrutinized carefully to preclude participation in politicall-oriented programs.

5. While active duty military members and civilian employees may participate in the political process, they are subject to restrictions that preclude them from engaging in any partisan political activity while on duty or in uniform.  Army personnel may NOT engage in political activity while on duty.  All military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve Forces are prohibited from wearing military uniforms at political campaigns and election events.  For further guidance, refer to DoD Directive 1344.10 and AR 600-20, para. 5-3.  Political activities of federal civilian employees is governed under the revised Hatch Act amendments, 5 U.S.C. 7321-7326, 5 C.F.R. Parts 733-734.  To see the full text of the DoD guidance, go here.

For expanded guidance for all DoD members and civilan employees, visit the CPOL Library site.

Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager