Fifty More at Portland

Leadership of the Oregon National Guard and Port of Portland signed an agreement that will allow the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing to continue operating from Portland International Airport for the next 50 years, announced wing officials. “We have now secured this facility to protect this country and Oregon for the next half century,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) at the Jan. 16 signing ceremony at the unit’s base on the airport grounds. “This agreement also paves the way for future growth,” he added. The Oregon Air Guard began operations at Portland in 1949, and the Oregon Guard has been hammering out a new lease with the city for more than 15 years, according to wing’s Jan. 19 release. Under the agreement, the Oregon Air Guard will pay the city $428,000 annually for infrastructure and upkeep and downsize its facilities from 240 acres to 195 acres over the next two decades, states the release. The wing’s F-15Cs currently guard US airspace from the Canadian border to central California as part of NORAD’s aerospace control alert mission. (Portland report by TSgt. John Hughel)