Oregon Airmen deploy in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve
By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 29, 2015
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- Nearly 200 members of the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Operations Group, 142nd Maintenance Group, and 142nd Mission Support Group were recognized during a formal mobilization ceremony held here, June 26, 2015, in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The Airmen are deploying to Romania from June to October 2015 as part of the 123rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and will provide F-15 Eagle fighter jets and support equipment as a Theater Security Package (TSP) to augment the U.S. Air Forces in Europe's (USAFE) existing efforts.
Ceremony attendees included Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Adjutant General and Brig. Gen. Michael Stencel, Oregon Air National Guard commander.
"As part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, I know that you will be working alongside our NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] allies," Brown said as she described the mission the Airmen will undertake while in Europe. "You will support and build new and deeper partnerships...your presence will also reassure our allies a commitment to peace and security."
The squadron will train alongside NATO partners to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe in response to threats in the region. This will be the 142nd Fighter Wing's largest deployment to Eastern Europe.
"The Airmen here today and those already forward will be part of a persistent U.S. air, land and sea presence in the region, especially in central and eastern Europe," said Hokanson.
In response to Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, Operation Atlantic Resolve is a visible demonstration of U.S. commitment to the security of Europe and NATO nations. The partnership between the U.S. and NATO members is built on established values, practices and a long term commitment to a stable and prosperous Europe.
"We look forward to your safe return, as always, thank you for your service and living our motto, 'Always Ready-Always There'," said Hokanson.
The 123rd Fighter Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Sean Sullivan, will serve as the 123rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander while deployed in Eastern Europe.
During his remarks, Stencel reiterated Brown and Hokanson's sentiments with regards to the sacrifices made by family members of the deploying Airmen. "I want to thank all of you with us today for the continuous support of our Airmen; not only for this high visibility deployment but day in-day out and year after year."