The 116th ACS Deploys for the Middle East Published March 9, 2011 By Tech. Sgt. John Hughel 142FW Public Affairs Portland Air National Guard Base, PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber addressed the "sacrifices by the Airmen and families of Oregon," to those in attendance during the formal deployment send-off of the 116th Air Combat Squadron, on March 4, 2011, at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore. "I want to share with your families, and your neighbors, and with the entire State of Oregon, that we are proud of your dedication and your willingness to put service above all else," he said. Over 80 Airmen from the 116th Air Control Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard are set to deploy to the Middle East in support of Air Forces Central (CENTAF), where they will perform Air Battle Management missions for four months. Pre-mobilization training was accomplished at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton, Ore., and at Camp Adair, Ore. The deploying Airmen gained valuable insight with the Battle Control Center or BC3, that they will use in-theater with CENTAF as well as ancillary training they would need to complete their mission. The mobilization ceremony was the first large-scale stand up of Oregon Guardsmen since Governor Kitzhaber became the state's Commander in Chief in mid-January of this year. The Governor greeted every departing Airman after the ceremony along with Oregon 1st Congressional Rep. David Wu, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon, and Brig. Gen. Steven Gregg, Commander, Oregon Air National Guard. When addressing those in attendance during the ceremony, Rep. Wu wanted to highlight the other unique role that the Airmen will also carry with them as representatives of the United States. "You are the ambassadors of this nation, because you are America's best and I know that you will serve us proud," he said. With the close of the ceremony and final good-byes to loved ones, the members of the 116th ACS depart on a mission they feel distinctively trained and well equipped to perform after several months of preparation. They should all return to Oregon by midsummer once their mission to support Operation Enduring Freedom is complete.