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Oregon Airmen to Provide Humanitarian Support

Oregon Air National Guard Master Sgt. Robert Vickery, first sergeant, 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) conducts a role call of squadron members as they board a bus  at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Oregon Air National Guard Master Sgt. Robert Vickery, first sergeant, 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) conducts a role call of squadron members as they board a bus at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) board a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) board a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) form a line to load baggage into a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) form a line to load baggage into a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Ramon Lopez, an electrician for the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) loads baggage into a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Oregon Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Ramon Lopez, an electrician for the 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) loads baggage into a KC-135 Stratotanker at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., May 5, 2015. The 142nd CES is taking part in a mission to Romania to rebuild an aging hospital as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) departs the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., on a KC-135 Stratotanker, in route for Romania to rebuild an aging hospital, as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily Thompson, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) departs the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., on a KC-135 Stratotanker, in route for Romania to rebuild an aging hospital, as part of US European Command's Humanitarian Assistance Program. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily Thompson, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD -- PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. - Members of Oregon's 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron are preparing to mobilize for a humanitarian mission to Romania as part of U.S. European Command's (EUCOM) Humanitarian Civic Assistance program (HCA).

This project will mark the 142nd Civil Engineer Squadron's (CES) first mobilization to Romania and EUCOM's first humanitarian project of the year in an Eastern European country.

Describing the upcoming mobilization to his squadron, 142 CES commander Lt. Col. Jason Lay encouraged members to embrace the training opportunities of the mission.
"It's going to be a great experience for everyone and a good outcome for our in-country partners," said Lay.

EUCOM's HCA program is designed to improve the host nation's critical infrastructure and the underlying living conditions of the civilian populace. Military partners, such as the 142nd Fighter Wing, provide manpower and technical expertise, while EUCOM acts as a facilitator for the projects.

Lay said the humanitarian mission is extremely important to the local Romanian government and he emphasized the collaboration at the state and national levels here in the U.S. that helped make the mission possible.

Romania is widely-known in the United States as an Olympic gymnastics powerhouse and for its former communist rule. In more recent years, Romania has emerged as a rising economic growth center in Eastern Europe, but some infrastructure challenges still remain.

Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and became a member of the European Union in 2007.

Funded through Overseas Humanitarian Disaster Assistance and Civic Appropriations and EUCOM's operation and maintenance funds, HCA activities can include assessments, training, construction projects, well drilling, medical assistance and transportation of non-lethal DoD excess property--all with an end goal of bolstering partner nations' civil sector capabilities.

Past HCA projects have included:
·Flood relief in Poland, Serbia, Albania and Moldova
·Water pumps in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Romania
·44 school renovations
·28 hospital/clinic renovations and equipment upgrades
·33 emergency services/water related upgrades