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News Releases
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PHOTO RELEASE: Oregon National Guard dedicates Fort Dalles Readiness Center (Photo) - 04/17/14
*** Photo Release ***

140417-Z-TK422-6701
Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, The Adjutant General, Oregon, speaks to an audience during a dedication ceremony for Fort Dalles Readiness Center, in The Dalles, Ore., April 17. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Hokanson, and Mr. Frank Toda, president of the Columbia Gorge Community College, in addition to several other local representatives joined at the ceremony. The Oregon Army National Guard's Alpha Co., (-), 3-116 Cavalry, will share the new facility with the Columbia Gorge Community College, and can also be utilized by the local community. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.)

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From left to right: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Mr. Frank Toda, president of the Columbia Gorge Community College, Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, The Adjutant General, Oregon, following the dedication ceremony for Fort Dalles Readiness Center, in The Dalles, Ore., April 17. The Oregon Army National Guard's Alpha Co., (-), 3-116 Cavalry, will share the new facility with the Columbia Gorge Community College, and can also be utilized by the local community. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.)

140417-Z-TK422-6763
Mr. Frank Toda, (right), president of the Columbia Gorge Community College, thanks Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (seated left), during a dedication ceremony for Fort Dalles Readiness Center, in The Dalles, Ore., April 17. Wyden and Merkley joined Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, The Adjutant General, Oregon, in addition to several other local representatives at the ceremony. The Oregon Army National Guard's Alpha Co., (-), 3-116 Cavalry, will share the new facility with the Columbia Gorge Community College, and can also be utilized by the local community. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.)

140417-Z-TK422-6775
Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, (left), The Adjutant General, Oregon, joins Mr. Frank Toda, (right), president of the Columbia Gorge Community College for a photo with a commemoration plaque, during a dedication ceremony for Fort Dalles Readiness Center, in The Dalles, Ore., April 17. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Hokanson and Toda, in addition to several other local representatives at the ceremony. The Oregon Army National Guard's Alpha Co., (-), 3-116 Cavalry, will share the new facility with the Columbia Gorge Community College, and can also be utilized by the local community. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.)

140417-Z-TK422-6780
Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, The Adjutant General, Oregon is flanked by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden (to his right) and Jeff Merkley (to his left), Mr. Frank Toda, (center), president of the Columbia Gorge Community College, and present and past leadership of the Oregon National Guard and local community, during the ribbon-cutting portion of the dedication ceremony for Fort Dalles Readiness Center in The Dalles, Ore., April 17. The Oregon Army National Guard's Alpha Co., (-), 3-116 Cavalry, will share the new facility with the Columbia Gorge Community College, and can also be utilized by the local community. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.)

140417-Z-TK422-6813 & 140417-Z-TK422-6814
The Oregon National Guard held a dedication ceremony for the Fort Dalles Readiness Center in The Dalles, Ore., April 17. Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, The Adjutant General, Oregon hosted Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Mr. Frank Toda, president of the Columbia Gorge Community College, and present and past leadership of the Oregon National Guard and local community, who attended the ceremony. The Oregon Army National Guard's Alpha Co., (-), 3-116 Cavalry, will share the new facility with the Columbia Gorge Community College, and can also be utilized by the local community. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.)
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Oregon National Guard dedicates new Fort Dalles Readiness Center (Photo) - 04/15/14
THE DALLES, Ore. -- The Oregon National Guard is scheduled to hold a dedication ceremony for the Fort Dalles Readiness Center in The Dalles, Ore., on April 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Media and the public are invited to attend. The address for the readiness center is 402 E Scenic Dr., The Dalles, Ore.

Among the official party scheduled to attend the ceremony are U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR); U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR); Oregon Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day, OR-District 30); Oregon Representative John Huffman (R-The Dalles, OR-District 59); The Dalles Mayor Stephen Lawrence; Dr. Frank Toda, President of Columbia Gorge Community College; Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, The Adjutant General, Oregon; and Brig. Gen. Steven Beach, commander of 82nd Brigade Troop Command.

The new readiness center replaces the Webber Street armory, built in 1951, as the home of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry, Oregon Army National Guard. Approximately 150 Soldiers will gather at the facility each month to train. The space is also shared with Columbia Gorge Community College.

The bottom floor of the building will be used by students and faculty of community college, including two labs, two classrooms, a computer work area, and a break area with a small kitchen.

The second floor of the building contains office space, a commercial-grade kitchen and a 10,000 square-foot assembly hall for the Oregon Guard unit. The third floor houses a fitness center, locker rooms and other spaces to accommodate training needs of the Soldiers.

The facility also includes a shared industrial shop, providing 12 student welding labs and a maintenance bay for Oregon National Guard vehicles.

The readiness center will serve the community with flexible rental space and it meets all building codes for Americans with Disabilities Act and seismic requirements, as well as State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) requirements.
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173rd Fighter Wing to conduct night flying operations (Photo) - 04/11/14
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - The 173rd Fighter Wing will conduct night flying operations April 14-17, 2014, between approximately 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Night flying is one part of the course curriculum for F-15 student pilots at Kingsley Field.

"Night flying is a critical skill which our students need to learn to be effective war fighters," said Col. Jeremy Baenen, 173rd Fighter Wing commander. "We understand the disruption to the community during night flying weeks, but we try our best to minimize the noise impact."

The community will most likely hear the jets during take-offs and approaches to and from Kingsley Field. Most of the training will occur in military operating airspace east of Lakeview.

Baenen explained why night flying is crucial for student pilots, "It's because of this training that the United States Air Force has the advantage over our enemies."
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142nd Fighter Wing conducts F-15 night flying (Photo) - 04/11/14
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing will be conducting routine F-15 night flying training April 14-17.

The missions allow the wing to stay current with mandatory Air Force requirements. Night flying is conducted almost monthly as it provides essential training for night time maneuvers. Training flights will be completed each evening before 10:00 p.m.

Since September 11, 2001 the 142nd Fighter Wing has flown more than 47,000 hours in support of the Aerospace Control Alert mission to ensure the Pacific Northwestern skies remain safe.
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Oregon National Guard recognizes April as Month of the Military Child (Photo) - 04/08/14
SALEM, Ore., - The Oregon National Guard Child and Youth Program is scheduled to sponsor a number of events across the state to acknowledge the sacrifices made by military families in honor of Month of the Military Child.

The Month of the Military Child is a legacy of former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, and is designed to applaud military children and youth for the sacrifices they make to support America's armed forces.

To honor military kids for their sacrifices and courage, this campaign allows for community members and military personnel alike to pay tribute to these military kids for their service.

As part of this nation-wide campaign, the Oregon Guard Youth Program is sponsoring forums from Ontario to Salem to highlight the challenges military children often face when a loved one is called to serve their state and nation. The goal of these events is to celebrate the sacrifice of military families and create a safe environment to help nurture youth and children to share their experiences as military kids.

The program will sponsor sessions at the following locations and dates throughout Oregon:
Eugene: April 12, Young Leaders Conference and Youth Military Ball
Salem: April 15, AG Gilbert Discovery Center
Springfield: April 20, Putters
La Grande: April 22, Cook Memorial Library
Burns: April 26, Burns Armory

Oregon has more than 10,000 children who have a parent currently serving in the military, and hundreds more connected to military service through other relatives. Recognizing this special populations' sacrifice, dedication and their strength is a priority of Month of the Military Child, because when parents serve in the military, their kids serve too.

For more information on the Oregon National Guard Child and Youth Program visit their website at http://www.orng-smfs.org/FP/youth%20program.html
or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oregon-National-Guard-Oregon-Military-Department/63030240817?ref=hl#!/ORNG.ChildandYouthProgram
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Oregon National Guard ceremony marks re-dedication of Milton-Freewater Readiness Center (Photo Release) (Photo) - 04/05/14
MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. - The Oregon Army National Guard held a re-dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently upgraded Milton-Freewater Readiness Center in Milton-Freewater, Ore., April 5.

The facility is currently home to Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company, Oregon Army National Guard.

Work on the upgrade began in September 2012 and was completed in March 2014 at a cost of more than $4 million. This facility serves the community with flexible rental space and it meets all building codes for Americans with Disabilities Act and seismic requirements. The building also meets State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) requirements.

Photo Captions:

140405-Z-OT568-004: The Oregon Army National Guard held a re-dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the recently upgraded Milton-Freewater Readiness Center, April 5, in Milton-Freewater, Ore. The facility is home to Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

140405-Z-OT568-129: Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon, presents Milton-Freewater Mayor Lewis Key with a rendition of the recently upgraded Milton-Freewater Readiness Center during a re-dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony, April 5, in Milton-Freewater, Ore. The facility is home to Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

140405-Z-OT568-140: Members of the Oregon Army National Guard and distinguished guests involved in upgrading the Milton-Freewater Readiness Center prepare to cut a ribbon symbolizing the re-dedication of the facility, April 5, in Milton-Freewater, Ore. The facility is home to Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

140405-Z-OT568-157: Members of the Oregon Army National Guard and distinguished guests involved in upgrading the Milton-Freewater Readiness Center cut a ribbon symbolizing the re-dedication of the facility, April 5, in Milton-Freewater, Ore. Mayor Lewis Key (center) and Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon, were in attendance for the celebration. The facility is home to Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

140405-Z-OT568-173: Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson (center), Adjutant General, Oregon; Milton-Freewater Mayor Lewis Key; and Pvt. Vance Knudson (second from left), the youngest member of Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company, cut the cake with a saber to celebrate the re-dedication of the recently upgraded Milton-Freewater Readiness Center, while Col. Christian Rees (left), Director of Installations, and State Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Lake (right) look on, during a ceremony, April 5, in Milton-Freewater, Ore. The facility is home to Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of the military police detachment. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
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Oregon National Guard re-dedicates Milton-Freewater Readiness Center (Photo) - 04/03/14
MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. -- The Oregon National Guard is scheduled to hold a re-dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently upgraded Milton-Freewater Readiness Center in Milton-Freewater, Ore., on April 5 at 11:00 a.m.

Milton-Freewater Mayor Lewis Key, Oregon Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, and Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon, are scheduled to attend the ceremony.

Media and the public are also invited to attend.

The readiness center is located at 149 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater, Ore. The facility is currently home to Detachment 1, 1186th Military Police Company, Oregon Army National Guard.

The first unit assigned to the armory was Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment, of the 41st Infantry Division, which was federally recognized in March 1947. After World War II, with support from the local American Legion post and the Chamber of Commerce, the Oregon Army National Guard organized a unit in Freewater. The unit initially drilled in the Freewater Community Building. By 1951, the merged towns of Milton and Freewater began promoting a centrally located armory by donating six lots to the state.

The building's original construction was completed on Jan. 1, 1954. The completed armory was dedicated in March 1954. The armory served as a civil defense headquarters and Red Cross kitchen during the 1964 and 1965 floods.

The armory is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places due to its association with the post-WWII National Guard expansion program. It was the first armory to be built in Oregon using the 75-percent federal and 25-percent state funding program outlined in the Defense Facilities Act of 1950. Also, it was the first armory built to house a single unit in Oregon under the National Guard Bureau plan and therefore an example of the K-style armory.

A unique feature of the armory is the upper-story windows on the assembly hall drill floor. It is the only K-style armory with tall windows allowing for much natural lighting. All other K-style armories had smaller, and fewer upper-story windows. The Milton-Freewater Armory has retained its integrity of location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.

Work on the upgrade began in September 2012 and was completed in March 2014 at a cost of more than $4 million. This facility serves the community with flexible rental space and it meets all building codes for Americans with Disabilities Act and seismic requirements. The building also meets State Energy Efficient Design (SEED) requirements.
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Oregon National Guard CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package scheduled to participate in Alaska Vigilant Guard Exercise (Photo) - 03/25/14
The Oregon National Guard's CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) is scheduled to participate in the Vigilant Guard Exercise at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, March 25 - April 3.

The unit's mission is to respond to man-made or natural events and provide a robust, quick-response search and extraction, with the varied capacities of decontamination, medical triage, treatment and stabilization, and fatality recovery.

Oregon's CERFP unit will work alongside members from the Hawaii National Guard CERFP unit, training to respond to a large-scale earthquake scenario. The exercise will tie into the Alaska Shield and several linked exercises on both the state and national level.

Oregon's CERFP is comprised of Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen from around the state, providing the majority of the search and recovery and decontamination efforts on the team.

Two groups from the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing provide the medical support (to include a trained medical team embedded within the search and extraction team), and fatality recovery elements, and Soldiers from the Oregon Army National Guard's 3670th Maintenance Company and the 224th Engineer Company provide personnel for the decontamination, search and extraction, and command and control teams.

The Oregon CERFP is one of the nation's newest validated teams. The team completed required external validation in May 2012, which evaluated members in the technical aspects required for their mission.

In March 2013, the team also underwent a Standardization Evaluation and Assistance Team (SEAT) inspection, which evaluated its fiscal and administrative responsibilities. The team's results allowed for its ultimate validation and mission readiness status.

Follow our Facebook and Twitter posts using #AKVG

To see the Flickr photo album of our Oregon CERFP in action, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oregonmildep/sets/72157629775748352/

PHOTOS:
140324-Z-MZ730-001: Members of Oregon's joint service Air and Army National Guard CBRNE Enhanced Force Response Package (CERFP) set ramps to load equipment into a plane at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., March 24, as they prepare to depart for the Vigilant Guard Alaska Exercise, which takes place March 25 - April 3 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage Alaska. (Photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)

140324-Z-MZ730-002: Members of Oregon's joint service Air and Army National Guard CBRNE Enhanced Force Response Package (CERFP) set ramps to load equipment into a plane at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., March 24, as they prepare to depart for the Vigilant Guard Alaska Exercise, which takes place March 25 - April 3 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage Alaska. (Photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)

140324-Z-MZ730-005: Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III (center), Director of the Air National Guard, poses for a photo with members of the Oregon National Guard CBRNE Enhanced Force Response Package (CERFP) at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., March 24. Clarke was in Oregon to attend a Silver Star ceremony for a member of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron. He also met with the CERFP as they prepared to depart for the Vigilant Guard Alaska Exercise, which takes place March 25 - April 3 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage Alaska. (Photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)

140325-Z-MZ730-001: Members of Oregon's joint service Air and Army National Guard CBRNE Enhanced Force Response Package (CERFP) load into a plane at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., March 25, as they depart for the Vigilant Guard Alaska Exercise, which takes place March 25 - April 3 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage Alaska. (Photo by Sgt. Betty Boyce, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs)
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PHOTOS: Oregon Air National Guard combat controllers awarded for heroism (Photo) - 03/24/14
CLACKAMAS, Ore. - Combat controllers with the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron were honored for their heroism during an award ceremony today, March 24, at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore.

The Airmen recognized were Tech. Sgt. Doug Matthews with the rarely awarded Silver Star; Staff Sgt. Matthew Matlock with the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and second Oak Leaf Cluster; Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones with the Bronze Star with Valor and first Oak Leaf Cluster; and Tech. Sgt. George Thompson with the Bronze Star.

Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon; and Brig. Gen. Michael Stencel, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard were in attendance at the ceremony.

Biography for Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III is the Director, Air National Guard:
http://www.ang.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130416-029.pdf

Fact Sheet for Silver Star:
http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=7729

Fact Sheet for Bronze Star:
http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=7771&page=1

PHOTOS:
140324-Z-CH590-336: U.S. Army Capt. Seth Nieman (left) presents Tech. Sgt. Doug Matthews (right), a combat controller with the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron, with the rarely awarded Silver Star, March 24, during a ceremony at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore. Matthews' actions saved Nieman's life, along with other Special Forces teammates, during an ambush near Jalrez, Wardak Province in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2012. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

140324-Z-CH590-276: Combat controllers with the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron pose for a group photo with Air National Guard Director Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III (third from left) and Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant James W. Hotaling (center) following an award ceremony, March 24, at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore. From left: Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones received the Bronze Star with Valor and first Oak Leaf Cluster; Staff Sgt. Matthew Matlock received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and second Oak Leaf Cluster; Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke; Chief Master Sergeant James Hotaling (a former Oregon Air Guard member); Tech. Sgt. Doug Matthews received the rarely awarded Silver Star; and Tech. Sgt. George Thompson received the Bronze Star. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

140324-Z-CH590-280: Combat controllers with the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron pose for a group photo with Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, (left), Adjutant General, Oregon, following an award ceremony, March 24, at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore. From left: Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson; Tech. Sgt. George Thompson received the Bronze Star; Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones received the Bronze Star with Valor and first Oak Leaf Cluster; Staff Sgt. Matthew Matlock received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and second Oak Leaf Cluster; and Tech. Sgt. Doug Matthews received the rarely awarded Silver Star; and. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

140324-Z-CH590-302: Combat controllers with the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron pose for a group photo following an award ceremony, March 24, at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, in Clackamas, Ore. From left: Tech. Sgt. Doug Matthews received the rarely awarded Silver Star; Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones received the Bronze Star with Valor and first Oak Leaf Cluster; Staff Sgt. Matthew Matlock received the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and second Oak Leaf Cluster; and Tech. Sgt. George Thompson received the Bronze Star. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron awards Airmen with high honors (Photo) - 03/21/14
CLACKAMAS, Ore. -- The Oregon Air National Guard is scheduled to honor a group of Airmen with the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, with a Silver Star and Bronze Star medals, during a ceremony on Monday, March 24, at 2:00 p.m. at the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe, located at 15300 SE Minuteman Way, in Clackamas, Ore.

Scheduled to attend are Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.; Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; and Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Adjutant General, Oregon.

The Airmen scheduled to be recognized are Tech. Sgt. Doug Matthews with the Silver Star; Staff Sgt. Matthew Matlock with the Bronze Star Medal with Valor and second Oak Leaf Cluster; Staff Sgt. Christopher Jones with the Bronze Star with Valor and first Oak Leaf Cluster; and Tech. Sgt. George Thompson with the Bronze Star.

"The 125th STS has a proud history of displaying valor and heroism in combat," said Maj. TJ Awada, commander of the 125th STS. "The actions of Sergeants Matthews, Jones, Matlock, and Thompson are in keeping with the highest traditions of this squadron and the Oregon National Guard.

On Nov. 27, 2012, the vehicle Matthews' was riding in struck an improvised explosive device, triggering a coordinated ambush near Jalrez, Wardak Province in Afghanistan. Despite being ejected from the vehicle, and sustaining head injuries and multiple lacerations, he immediately came to his feet and faced small-arms fire from 12 different enemy fighting positions, some as close as 30 meters.

Although seriously wounded, Matthews returned fire and made his way back to the overturned vehicle to aid his wounded teammates. He located his team leader, who was ejected from the vehicle and seriously wounded, and moved him to safety while continuing to exchange fire with the enemy. As his Special Forces teammates regrouped, Matthews coordinated close air support and medical evacuation for the wounded. Despite being exposed to enemy fire, he continued to direct close air support, which eventually repelled the enemy.

"His heroism under fire while directing close air support allowed friendly forces to recover all personnel with no loss of life and maneuver out of the ambush's kill zone. Sergeant Matthews' actions undoubtedly saved the lives of his wounded teammates and an Afghan interpreter," the award citation reads.

On Oct. 6, 2012, Matlock's team began receiving intense enemy fire while conducting a patrol in Arabon Valley, Wardak Province, Afghanistan. Matlock dove into a nearby irrigation ditch and returned fire while coordinating air support to suppress the enemy fire pinning down his team. He crawled to a vantage point where he determined that two Special Forces and two Afghan partner force soldiers were severely wounded. Matlock soon realized that his team leader was also injured. With complete disregard for his own safety, Matlock jumped to his feet and ran to the aid of his teammates. He rendered first aid while coordinating medical evacuation flights and close air support. As medical evacuation helicopters arrived, he carried one of his injured comrades to safety while under enemy fire.

On Oct. 8, 2012, Jones served as the primary joint terminal attack controller assigned to an Army Special Forces Team conducting a tactical ground movement in Paktiya Province, Afghanistan. The team's lead vehicle struck an improvised explosive device, triggering a coordinated ambush. Jones immediately returned fire while coordinating close air support aircraft overhead. After the initial volley of enemy fire, Jones exited his vehicle and rushed to the command element, which was pinned down by enemy fire. As he made his way to the front of the convoy, Jones continued to engage the enemy and provide air support. While coordinating airstrikes, Jones lost line of sight communications with the aerial support. Without regard for his personal safety, Jones immediately moved to an exposed position in order to regain communications and continue aerial coordination to repel the enemy assault.

Between Jan. 15 and April 15, 2011, Thompson served as a joint terminal attack controller attached to an Army Special Forces team, conducting more than 35 combat patrols in the rugged terrain of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. During one mission, insurgents ambushed his team with machine gun and small arms fire. Thompson returned fire, enabling the team to reach cover. He quickly relayed the location of two insurgents he identified, enabling Afghanistan Local Police to defeat both insurgents. Also, during a separate patrol, his team came under heavy small arms fire from insurgents. Thompson returned fire, re-supplied the M-249 machine gunner, and directed mortar fire. He then controlled fixed-wing air support, initiating an enemy withdrawal. Throughout the deployment, Thompson controlled 34 aircraft during multiple life-threatening missions.

The 125th STS was officially established on May 1, 2005, and is headquartered at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore. The 125th Special Tactics Squadron currently has 79 members made up of Combat Controllers (CCT), Special Operations Weathermen (SOWT), and numerous support positions. Members of the unit undergo a rigorous two-year training program where they graduate as combat divers, military free-fall and static-line parachutists and are trained to operate in any environment in the world.


Follow our Facebook and Twitter posts using #SilverStar

Biography for Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel is the Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command:
http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/Biographies/Display/tabid/225/Article/107995/lieutenant-general-eric-e-fiel.aspx

Biography for Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III is the Director, Air National Guard:
http://www.ang.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130416-029.pdf

Fact Sheet for Silver Star:
http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=7729

Fact Sheet for Bronze Star:
http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet_print.asp?fsID=7771&page=1