Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oregon Air National Guard continues mission at PDX with 50-year lease signing

The Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing based out of Portland International Airport will continue its 70-year mission of protecting the Pacific Northwestern skies, following today’s approval of a 50-year lease by the Port of Portland Commission.

The Portland Air National Guard Base at PDX is home of the 142nd Fighter Wing, which safeguards  the  airspace and coastal waters from northern California to the Canadian border with F-15 Eagles on a 24-hour alert. In addition to the aerospace control alert at PDX, operational and training missions take 142nd Fighter Wing units around the globe in support of Air Expeditionary Force missions and contingency operations including drug interdiction.

At home, the Governor can activate the Oregon ANG to provide protection of life and property, and preserve peace, order and public safety. State missions include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, floods and forest fires; search and rescue, protection of vital public services, and support to civil defense.

The Portland Air National Guard Base supports the region’s economy by paying more than $44 million in annual salaries to Guard members who live in Oregon and Washington, and providing approximately 1,500 jobs.

“For more than 60 years, Portland’s Air National Guard facility has provided protection in the skies from California to the Canadian border and been an economic driver in this area,” Sen. Ron Wyden said. “This deal will not only preserve the 1,500 jobs in Oregon right now, it will set the stage for further investment in the base that could result in even more economic development in the future.”

Sen. Wyden and other partners plan to attend a lease signing celebration at noon Jan. 16 at the Portland Air National Guard Base.

“The leadership of the Port of Portland, the ORANG and Sen. Wyden have made this happen,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon. “This lease is absolutely vital to the future of the 142nd Fighter Wing and the ORANG. The citizens of Oregon and the entire Northwest are now assured that this premier air defense unit will continue to protect their skies.”

“We’re pleased to continue helping meet the security and civil defense needs of our nation, state and community, and commend Sen. Wyden for his efforts on the agreement,” said Bill Wyatt, Port executive director. “Oregon Air National Guard has proven a great airport partner, and this new agreement allows them to continue their vital mission at PDX, while at the same time allowing us to expand the airport if needed in the future to accommodate the air travel and cargo needs of our community.”

Under the primary terms of the agreement, the existing Oregon ANG lease of 240 acres will reduce to 195 acres over the next 20 years to allow use of some facilities for commercial aviation activities, such as aircraft parking. In the event that planning for a third parallel runway becomes necessary, the leasehold will reduce to 128 acres, but will not occur for at least 30 years.

Under a joint use agreement, the military will pay $368,000 annually for use of taxiways and runways. Under other agreements, the military will pay $60,000 annually toward the operation and maintenance of the PDX deicing stormwater runoff collection system. The military will also fund its proportionate share of capital improvements that benefit and support their operations at PDX.

Oregon ANG’s original lease at PDX dates back to 1949; was amended in 1981, and was set to expire in 2029. The recently adopted PDX Master Plan, which developed with extensive community involvement, indicated that the leasehold is an appropriate location for military use.

No comments: