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Port extends Air National Guard lease

The Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing will continue to be based out of the Portland International Airport.

The Port of Portland Commission approved a 50-year lease for the fighter wing on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The Oregon Air National Guard has operated out of Portland for 70 years.

“For more than 60 years, Portland’s Air National Guard facility has provided protection in the skies from California to the Canadian border and been an economic driver in this area,” Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said of the agreement. “This deal will not only preserve the 1,500 jobs in Oregon right now, it will set the stage for further investment in the base that could result in even more economic development in the future.”

Under a joint use agreement, the military will pay $368,000 annually for use of taxiways and runways. Under other agreements, the military will pay $60,000 annually toward the operation and maintenance of the PDX deicing stormwater runoff collection system. The military will also fund its proportionate share of capital improvements that benefit and support their operations at PDX.

The agreement also calls for the existing Oregon ANG lease of 240 acres to be reduced to 195 acres over the next 20 years. This will allow use of some facilities for commercial aviation activities, such as aircraft parking. In the event that planning for a third parallel runway becomes necessary, the size will reduce to 128 acres, but will not occur for at least 30 years.

The fighter wing patrol the airspace and coastal waters from northern California to the Canadian border with F-15 Eagles on a 24-hour alert. In addition to the aerospace control alert at PDX, operational and training missions take units around the globe in support of Air Expeditionary Force missions and contingency operations including drug interdiction.

Under the law, Oregon’s governor can also activate the Oregon ANG to provide protection of life and property, and to preserve peace, order and public safety. State missions include: disaster relief in times of earthquakes, floods and forest fires; search and rescue missions; protection of vital public services; and support to civil defense.

The Portland Air National Guard Base provides approximately 1,500 jobs and pays more than $44 million in annual salaries to Guard members who live in Oregon and Washington.

“The leadership of the Port of Portland, the ORANG and Sen. Wyden have made this happen,” said Major General Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon. “This lease is absolutely vital to the future of the 142nd Fighter Wing and the ORANG. The citizens of Oregon and the entire Northwest are now assured that this premier air defense unit will continue to protect their skies.”

“We’re pleased to continue helping meet the security and civil defense needs of our nation, state and community, and commend Sen. Wyden for his efforts on the agreement,” said , Port Executive Director Bill Wyatt. “Oregon Air National Guard has proven a great airport partner, and this new agreement allows them to continue their vital mission at PDX, while at the same time allowing us to expand the airport if needed in the future to accommodate the air travel and cargo needs of our community.”