This past weekend my husband and I had the privilege of  volunteering with our local USO as the 116th prepared to deploy. During the ceremony, one an amazing woman handed out handmade quilts to each Oregon Airmen headed overseas. She made fifteen of the quilts herself with others being donated.  CN salutes these men and women! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

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Oregon Air National Guard airmen will deploy to Southwest Asia as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, the United States’ continuing work in Afghanistan.

Family members will say goodbye to the 116th air control squadron Saturday at a ceremony in Clackamas. The airmen will spend six months providing surveillance and air space management for air operations in and around the Arabian Gulf area.

Capt. Angela Walz said the servicemen’s jobs will be similar to the work air traffic controllers perform at Portland International Airport.

“If you think of the guys who sit up in the tower, they have radars that show where aircraft are located, it’s kind of the same concept,” Walz said.

The United States ended its combat mission with Afghanistan in December, effectively ending Operation Enduring Freedom. This deployment is related to that work, though. Walz declined to specify where in Southwest Asia the Oregon airmen will deploy. Walz said the airmen will be working with other missions in addition to Operation Sentinel’s Freedom.

The 166th squad is based in Warrenton but includes members from across the state and even outside Oregon. Several have been deployed, including some to Afghanistan in 2006, to Iraq in 2008 and to Qatar in 2011.

via Oregonian Live


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