Oregon National Guard soldiers and six CH-47 Chinook helicopters assigned to BRAVO 1-168 Aviation left Pendleton Wednesday en route to Fort Hood, Texas – and mobilization to deploy to Middle East, according to a recent service news release.
“Approximately 60 members of the unit are traveling to Fort Hood, Texas as they prepare to deploy to Afghanistan,” it said in a statement.
On May 6 also was held the deployment ceremony at Army Aviation Support Facility on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
“This departure shows the strength of the National Guard. The Citizen-Soldiers of Bravo Company, 1-168 Aviation have stepped up to meet their federal mission and done so flawlessly,” said Brig. Gen. William J. Prendergast IV, Commander, Oregon Army National Guard Land Component Command.
The KVAL CBS 13 reported that the unit will fly the Chinooks to carry cargo and equipment to provide supplies in Afghanistan.
“With the potential to drawn down troops, Chinooks are important for their heavy lift capabilities as they can carry equipment from one location to another efficiently,” said Lt. Col. Joe Mendel, Facility Commander, Army Aviation Support Facility #2, Pendleton.
“The unit did a great job, doing what they had to do during this pandemic — they adjusted to everything being thrown at them, took everything in stride, and most importantly they were mission focused,” said Mendel.
The CH-47 is an advanced multi-mission helicopter for the U.S. Army and international defense forces.
The Chinook is on order or operated by 20 countries, including eight NATO nations – Canada, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the U.S. To date, Boeing has delivered more than 900 H-47 Chinook helicopters.