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News: Winter storm disrupts unit training assembly

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Winter storm hits Pacific Northwest Tech. Sgt. John Hughel

Oregon Air Guard Senior Airman Andrew Wolf, 142nd Fighter Wing Civil Engineer Squadron, works to remove snow and ice from the main gate at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., Feb. 10, 2014. The February Unit Training Assembly was canceled, but a small group from the CES worked over the weekend to keep the base running and the alert mission operational during the winter storm that hit the Pacific Northwest region. (Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. - A large winter storm that produced heavy snow and ice in the Pacific Northwest, created severe travel conditions and forced the cancellation of the Feb. Unit Training Assembly for members of the 142nd Fighter Wing.

The storm system began late Thursday afternoon and closed the base to non-essential personnel from Friday until today. The base remained open for essential personnel and positions related to security, safety, and the alert mission.

While most of the 1,200 unit members were unable to travel to Portland, a small group from the 142nd Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) arrived on station to clear the snow from flight line areas, building entrances and other areas of large snow accumulation.

"A dedicated group of troops worked really hard over the weekend," said Lt. Col. Jason Lay, commander of the 142nd Civil Engineer Squadron.

The group of nearly 20 members operated a variety of machines to remove snow but also hand shoveled many areas around base while working with the Security Forces Squadron to keep the gates open and sufficient supply of ice-melts.

"We had some folks that really stepped up to keep the mission going over the weekend," said Col. Paul Fitzgerald, 142nd Mission Support commander.

The cold conditions contributed to a water leak that was also discovered by the CES and shut off shortly after it was discovered, said Lay.

As the snow dissipated late Saturday and turned to ice on Sunday, an ardent group of five members stayed to finish clearing ice from the alert barns and ramp areas. They included Chief Master Sgt. Tim Gilbert, Senior Master Sgt. Mike Sprague, Master Sgt. Keith Ashby, and Senior Airmen Josh Eckert and Andrew Wolf.

The February Unit Training Assembly was canceled with safety being a key consideration for unit members traveling to the Portland Air National Guard Base.

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This work, Winter storm disrupts unit training assembly, by TSgt John Hughel, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:02.10.2014

Date Posted:02.10.2014 20:17


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