National Guard chief here, along with reunion of 41st Infantry Division

The Oregon National Guard celebrated the grand opening of the 41st Infantry Division Armed Forces Reserve Center at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, Ore., on Friday night.

The event included a visit from the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Craig R. McKinley, and a keynote address by former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.

Other dignitaries present for the grand opening included Oregon Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, adjutant general, Oregon; Brigadier Barry McManus, military attache from the Embassy of Australia, and Col. Yoshihiro Iseri, military attache from the Embassy of Japan.

McManus said that he and Iseri were here to show support for the Oregon National Guard as a symbol of the strong relationship between the three nations.

The new building honors the 41st Infantry Division, which was first formed during World War I and whose members saw some of their fiercest fighting during WWII.

That unit was the first American division sent overseas following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the first trained in jungle warfare. The unit's soldiers spent 45 months fighting overseas, which is a record held to this day. During offensive campaigns in New Guinea, members of the 41st earned the nickname "Jungleers."

Members of the 41st Infantry Division, who are holding their annual reunion in Portland, also attended the event.

The state-of-the-art facility is the largest building in the Oregon National Guard's inventory and will house nearly 1,300 soldiers of the Oregon Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.

The building's design focuses on functionality and sustainability and incorporates "green" technology throughout, utilizing natural light and energy-saving technology.

The new facility also has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It also includes common spaces available for use by community groups and organizations.

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