Director of the Air National Guard visits Portland ANG Base

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Steph Sawyer
  • 142nd Wing / Public Affairs

The director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh visited the 142nd Wing at Portland Air National Guard Base, here Thursday, June 24.

Loh started his tour by meeting with Col. David N. Unruh, 142nd Wing commander, who briefed him on the wing’s unique and dynamic mission set.

As the director of the ANG, Loh is responsible for formulating and overseeing all plans, policies, and programs for 140 Air National Guard bases, employing more than 108,000 service members across the United States and its territories.

By visiting the individual bases, Loh gains insight into the mission, capabilities and challenges each one faces.

Throughout the day, Loh visited various shops and spoke with leaders about their roles in state and local missions.

Loh, along with wing and Oregon ANG leaders, also had the opportunity to observe the new police bumper grappler utilized by base Security Forces.

The grappler is designed to deploy, attach to, and stop a vehicle that poses an imminent threat to safety and/or security. It offers a more controlled and therefore safer alternative to the Precision Immobilization Technique or “PIT” maneuver, which involves making contact with the side of a vehicle, causing the driver to lose control and skid to a stop. This maneuver is often employed by law enforcement to stop run-away vehicles.

PANGB is the first ANG base to obtain this device. Loh was given the opportunity to see first-hand how the mechanism functions from inside the operator’s vehicle.

Loh also visited the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, one of only two STS’s in the ANG. Special Tactics Airmen showcased their Joint Terminal Attack Control simulator, vehicles, and a variety of equipment, as well as talked about the multifaceted nature of their mission.

Loh made time to sit down to lunch with 142nd Wing junior officers. The group shared their personal experiences and discussed goals and challenges unique to the ANG.

Later, Loh took some time to recognize and coin outstanding Airmen of the Wing. In an address to the Airmen, Loh expressed his gratitude for the sacrifices made by the ORANG members and their families in order to serve the state and local community, especially in difficult and challenging times.

Airmen, he acknowledged, are the driving force behind mission success.

“It’s about’s about leading great Airmen, it’s about taking care of Airmen, it’s about doing what we need to do because we don’t accomplish the mission without them,” Loh said.

It’s an opportunity when leadership visits Airmen at their duty stations and in their shops because it allows leaders to get to know and understand the individuals that are carrying out the day-to-day mission, and it lets Airmen know that they are seen, heard, and appreciated for what they do.

Unruh reflected on the tour, saying, “We had a great visit with the director. It was a time where the Airmen of the 142nd Wing were able to interact face to face with national leadership.”