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The 116th ACS Deploys for the Middle East

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, (Left to right) Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, and Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), pause for reflection during the Invocation of the 116th Air Control Squadron mobilization ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., on March 4, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, (Left to right) Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, and Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), pause for reflection during the Invocation of the 116th Air Control Squadron mobilization ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., on March 4, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Air National Guard Lt. Col. Gregor Leist, 116th Air Control Squadron Commander, stands in front of the Airmen deploying to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on March 4, 2011. The mobilization ceremony  held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore was attented by Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, and Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Air National Guard Lt. Col. Gregor Leist, 116th Air Control Squadron Commander, stands in front of the Airmen deploying to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on March 4, 2011. The mobilization ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore was attented by Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, and Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

The Oregon Air National Guard's Combat Operations Group held an official change of command ceremony during the mobilization ceremony of more than 80 Airmen with the 116th Air Control Squadron at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  The Airmen of the 116th ACS, which is a component of the Combat Operations Group, will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  From left to right; outgoing COG Commander Lt. Col. Gregor Leist, incoming COG Commander Lt. Col. Matthew Andrews, and Oregon Air National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg (far left).  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

The Oregon Air National Guard's Combat Operations Group held an official change of command ceremony during the mobilization ceremony of more than 80 Airmen with the 116th Air Control Squadron at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. The Airmen of the 116th ACS, which is a component of the Combat Operations Group, will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. From left to right; outgoing COG Commander Lt. Col. Gregor Leist, incoming COG Commander Lt. Col. Matthew Andrews, and Oregon Air National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg (far left). (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Air National Guard 116th Air Control Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Gregor Leist (right), presents Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber with his unit's official crest, during their mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  More than 80 Airmen from the unit will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Air National Guard 116th Air Control Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Gregor Leist (right), presents Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber with his unit's official crest, during their mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. More than 80 Airmen from the unit will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Govenor John Kitzhaber address those attending the mobilization ceremony of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Govenor John Kitzhaber address those attending the mobilization ceremony of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Major General Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, meets the Airmen departing for the Middle East after the mobilization ceremony for the 116th Air Control Squadron, held at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Major General Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, meets the Airmen departing for the Middle East after the mobilization ceremony for the 116th Air Control Squadron, held at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Congressman David Wu, meets with more than 80 Airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, following the unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Congressman David Wu, meets with more than 80 Airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, following the unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Congressman David Wu, meets with more than 80 Airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, following the unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Congressman David Wu, meets with more than 80 Airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, following the unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber meets with more than 80 Airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, following the unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4.  Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber meets with more than 80 Airmen of the Oregon Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Squadron, following the unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Guard Base in Portland, Ore., Mar. 4. Kitzhaber, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. The unit's Airmen will deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. (U.S. Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Oregon Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Blaine L. Meyers, of the 116th Air Control Squadron, speaks to his son Nolan, following his unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Base Mar. 4.  Meyers and more than 80 of his fellow Airmen will soon deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.  Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber; Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander,; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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Oregon Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Blaine L. Meyers, of the 116th Air Control Squadron, speaks to his son Nolan, following his unit's mobilization ceremony at the Portland Air Base Mar. 4. Meyers and more than 80 of his fellow Airmen will soon deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber; Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Oregon Air National Guard Commander,; Congressman David Wu (OR-District 1), and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of family, friends, fellow Airmen and Soldiers attended the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Portland Air National Guard Base, PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber addressed the "sacrifices by the Airmen and families of Oregon," to those in attendance during the formal deployment send-off of the 116th Air Combat Squadron, on March 4, 2011, at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore.

"I want to share with your families, and your neighbors, and with the entire State of Oregon, that we are proud of your dedication and your willingness to put service above all else," he said.

Over 80 Airmen from the 116th Air Control Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard are set to deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months.

Pre-mobilization training was accomplished at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton, Ore., and at Camp Adair, Ore. The deploying Airmen gained valuable insight with the Battle Control Center or BC3, that they will use in-theater with CENTAF as well as ancillary training they would need to complete their mission.

The mobilization ceremony was the first large-scale stand up of Oregon Guardsmen since Governor Kitzhaber became the state's Commander in Chief in mid-January of this year.

The Governor greeted every departing Airman after the ceremony along with Oregon 1st Congressional Rep. David Wu, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon, and Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Commander, Oregon Air National Guard.

When addressing those in attendance during the ceremony, Rep. Wu wanted to highlight the other unique role that the Airmen will also carry with them as representatives of the United States. "You are the ambassadors of this nation, because you are America's best and I know that you will serve us proud," he said.

With the close of the ceremony and final good-byes to loved ones, the members of the 116th ACS depart on a mission they feel distinctively trained and well equipped to perform after several months of preparation. They should all return to Oregon by midsummer once their mission to support Operation Enduring Freedom is complete.