Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AFSOC commander makes special trip to honor Oregon Airmen

130123-Z-CH590-036 by oregonmildep
130123-Z-CH590-036, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Members of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 125th Special Tactics Squadron salute the honor guard during the posting of colors at a ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., Jan. 23.

The ceremony was to honor the group with five Bronze Star Medals and one Purple Heart medal. The Airmen earned the medals during recent deployments to the Middle East.

From left to right are; Staff Sgt. David A. Albright, Senior Airman Chadwick J. Boles, Master Sgt. Scott A. Geisser, Tech. Sgt. Jeffery A. Dolezal, Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Guffy and Tech. Sgt. Douglas J. Matthews.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric E. Feil, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, flew in from his headquarters at Hulburt Field, Fla., for the ceremony.

(Oregon Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Governor Kitzhaber announces Brig. Gen. Daniel Hokanson to lead the Oregon National Guard

Col. Dan Hokanson, now brigadier general and director of strategic plans and policy for the National Guard Bureau, pauses for a photo at Camp Adder in Iraq where he was commander of the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon National Guard, during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2010. Hokanson led more than 3,000 Soldiers, and the brigade received a Meritorious Unit Citation for their performance during the deployment. Hokanson will succeed Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General, Oregon, in the summer of 2013.

Governor Kitzhaber announces Brig. Gen. Daniel Hokanson to lead the Oregon National Guard

Governor Kitzhaber today announced the appointment of Brigadier General Daniel R. Hokanson, former Keizer, Ore. resident, to succeed Major General Raymond F. Rees as the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard. He will transition to the position in the summer of 2013.
General Hokanson graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 and served on active duty in Air Cavalry, Attack Helicopter and Aircraft Test organizations prior to joining the Oregon National Guard. He has commanded at company, battalion and brigade combat team levels, as well as an Army Aviation Support Facility. General Hokanson commanded the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and served as Chief of Staff for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix in Afghanistan.

Hokanson founded the National Guard's first Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic and the Military Air Rescue Team program where he commanded approximately 100 air rescue and fire-fighting missions throughout the Pacific Northwest.

"I'm pleased that General Hokanson has agreed to lead the Oregon National Guard," said Governor Kitzhaber. "He brings a keen understanding of the Guard's dual mission to respond to emergencies here at home and serve the nation when called to active duty. I thank General Rees for his longstanding leadership of the Oregon National Guard and know that General Hokanson will continue to be a strong advocate for our Guardsmen and their families."

Currently, General Hokanson serves as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) at the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C. He holds graduate degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the United States Naval War College, and is a graduate of fellowship programs at Harvard University and National Defense University.

Official Biography:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oregon Air National Guard, Port of Portland holds event to commemorate 50-year lease agreement for Portland Air Guard Base

130116-Z-CH590-080 by oregonmildep
130116-Z-CH590-080, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.

Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, presents Kathleen Ferguson, U.S. Air Force Deputy Assistant, Secretary of the Air Force, Installations, who attended the ceremony via video conference, with a plaque marking the ceremonial signing of the 50-year lease agreement between the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing and the Port of Portland, at the Portland Air Base in Portland, Ore., Jan. 16, as the Port of Portland's Mr. Bill Wyatt, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, and Oregon Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg look on.

The agreement allows the 142nd Fighter Wing to move forward with capital improvements which will enhance mission objectives.

Wyden called the agreement an "historic and monumental achievement."

Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

173rd Fighter Wing changes command

130113-Z-NJ935-116 by oregonmildep
130113-Z-NJ935-116, a photo by oregonmildep on Flickr.
Colonel Jeremy Baenen (center) accepts the wing flag from Brigadier General Steven Gregg (left), commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, symbolizing his acceptance of command of the 173rd Fighter Wing during an official ceremony, January 13, 2013, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore.  Colonel Jeffrey Silver (right) steps down as Baenen accepts command of the Wing.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson)

Baenen takes command of 173rd Fighter Wing

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -  A change of command took place Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Kingsley Field.  Colonel Jeremy "Weed" Baenen, who has more than 20 years of military experience, took command of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Baenen's military experience includes 10 years with the active duty component before joining the Oregon Air National Guard in 2002.  He most recently commanded the 173rd Operations Group after holding numerous positions at the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland Air National Guard Base.  These assignments provide a strong skill base necessary for this key command position.

The official ceremony included the passing of the Wing guideon, a flag that represents the command, from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander.  According to Air Force protocol, the ceremony is rooted in military history, dating back to the 18th Century.  During this time, organizational flags were developed representing the individual units.  When a change of command took place, the outgoing commander would pass the flag to the invidual assuming command.  This took place in front of the entire unit so that all could witness the new commander assuming his position.

Additionally, Baenen's name was revealed on the Wing flagship F-15 Eagle as the commander of the 173rd Fighter Wing.  Flowers were presented to the wives of both of the outgoing and incoming commander from the members of the 173rd Fighter Wing.

Baenen replaced Colonel Jeffrey "Hi-Ho" Silver, who commanded the 173rd Fighter Wing since September 11, 2011.

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.