Oregon Airmen to Provide Humanitarian Support

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd
  • 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. - Members of Oregon's 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron are preparing to mobilize for a humanitarian mission to Romania as part of U.S. European Command's (EUCOM) Humanitarian Civic Assistance program (HCA).

This project will mark the 142nd Civil Engineer Squadron's (CES) first mobilization to Romania and EUCOM's first humanitarian project of the year in an Eastern European country.

Describing the upcoming mobilization to his squadron, 142 CES commander Lt. Col. Jason Lay encouraged members to embrace the training opportunities of the mission.
"It's going to be a great experience for everyone and a good outcome for our in-country partners," said Lay.

EUCOM's HCA program is designed to improve the host nation's critical infrastructure and the underlying living conditions of the civilian populace. Military partners, such as the 142nd Fighter Wing, provide manpower and technical expertise, while EUCOM acts as a facilitator for the projects.

Lay said the humanitarian mission is extremely important to the local Romanian government and he emphasized the collaboration at the state and national levels here in the U.S. that helped make the mission possible.

Romania is widely-known in the United States as an Olympic gymnastics powerhouse and for its former communist rule. In more recent years, Romania has emerged as a rising economic growth center in Eastern Europe, but some infrastructure challenges still remain.

Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and became a member of the European Union in 2007.

Funded through Overseas Humanitarian Disaster Assistance and Civic Appropriations and EUCOM's operation and maintenance funds, HCA activities can include assessments, training, construction projects, well drilling, medical assistance and transportation of non-lethal DoD excess property--all with an end goal of bolstering partner nations' civil sector capabilities.

Past HCA projects have included:
·Flood relief in Poland, Serbia, Albania and Moldova
·Water pumps in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Romania
·44 school renovations
·28 hospital/clinic renovations and equipment upgrades
·33 emergency services/water related upgrades