Oregon National Guard Soldiers mobilize for overseas operations

PENDLETON, Ore. – Approximately 60 Oregon National Guard Soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation Regiment along with six of their CH-47 Chinook helicopters departed today for Fort Hood, Texas as they prepare to be mobilized for deployment to Afghanistan. 

“This departure shows the strength of the National Guard.  The Citizen-Soldiers of Bravo Company, 1-168 Aviation have stepped up to meet their federal mission and done so flawlessly,” said Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast IV, Commander, Oregon Army National Guard Land Component Command.

The unit will be using their Chinooks to carry cargo and equipment while resupplying areas around Afghanistan.  “With the potential to drawn down troops, Chinooks are important for their heavy lift capabilities as they can carry equipment from one location to another efficiently,” said Lt. Col. Joe Mendel, Facility Commander, Army Aviation Support Facility #2, Pendleton.  

“The unit did a great job, doing what they had to do during this pandemic — they adjusted to everything being thrown at them, took everything in stride, and most importantly they were mission focused,” said Mendel.

The unit is scheduled to train in Texas for several weeks prior to departing overseas.