Military


Portland IAP (ANG)

The 142nd Fighter Wing (FW) of the Oregon Air National Guard occupies 246 acres of leased land on the Portland International Airport (IAP), located approximately five miles south of Portland, Oregon. The mission of the 142nd FW is to provide operational headquarters and training facilities for the installation and tenant units, support the Oregon Emergency Action Plan, and serve the community. The unit currently flies the F-15 Eagle. The 142nd FW occupies 5 administrative, 63 industrial and 4 services buildings totaling approximately 691,839 square feet with 576 full-time personnel. A unit training drill is conducted twice a month and results in a surge of up to a total of 1332 personnel.

The 939th Rescue Wing provides trained combat search and rescue (CSAR) aircrews and weapons systems to support Air Combat Command taskings. CSAR is a requirement for most military contingency operations. With 29 percent of the Air Force's HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and HC-130 Hercules rescue-configured aircraft in the United States, support from the 939th Rescue Wing is in constant demand.

The Portland International Airport is located east of the city of Portland, adjacent to the Columbia Slough on the banks of the Columbia River. Since its 1925 beginning at Swan Island, the airport's history has been one of growth. During the Depression in the late 1930's, Works Progress Administration (WPA) funding put Oregonians to work building a larger Portland Airport at its current location. In 1936, the City of Portland purchased 700 acres of land along the Columbia River and bordering the Columbia Slough for a "Super Airport." In 1940 increased use and larger aircraft caused the Port to relocate at Portland Columbia Airport, which had been under construction since 1936.

During the war years, Portland Columbia, with its associated air base, was an active air transport center handling about 47 military transport landings a day by the end of 1946. In mid 1948 Portland Columbia was hit hard by the devastating Vanport flood and completely shut down for a three month period, during which traffic was handled at Salem, and principally, Troutdale Airport.

In 1949 construction started on a new 8,800-foot-south runway to meet "international express" standards. By 1952, seven airlines plus two air cargo carriers were serving Portland. In that year, the airport was officially renamed "Portland International Airport." Increased airline business and passenger demand soon resulted in planning for expansion to the east, property acquisition, design and engineering for a new terminal complex. The terminal, which was dedicated in 1958, was designed to handle 1.5 million passengers. Along with a new 8,000-foot north parallel runway due for completion in 1962, Portland's airport needs appeared to be solved for many years to come.

By 1962, the new faster and bigger jets sparked an explosion in air travel which brought PIA's terminal complex to its rated capacity neatly ten years ahead of prediction In 1966 the Port Commission authorized the preparation of a master plan for the expansion of PIA. Over a period of the next six years a number of expansion plans were analyzed and reviewed by the Port, other government agencies and citizen groups. A plan to dredge and fill a portion of the Columbia River for airport expansion was abandoned by the Port commission in 1973.

In 1999, Portland International Airport [PDX] served 13.7 million passengers, with growth forecasted at nearly 27 million passengers by the year 2020. Cargo tonnage forecasts show an increase in volume from 344,000 to 957,000 tons, with annual operations growing from 322,000 to 485,000 during the same time

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendation: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Portland IAP AGS, OR. It would realign the 939th Air Refueling Wing (AFR) by distributing the wing's KC-135R aircraft to the 507th Air Refueling Wing (AFR), Tinker AFB, OK (four aircraft); the 190th Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Forbes Field AGS, KS (three aircraft); and by reverting one aircraft to backup inventory. Operations and maintenance manpower for four aircraft from the 939th Air Refueling Wing would be realigned with the aircraft to Tinker AFB. The 939th Air Refueling Wing's remaining manpower, to include expeditionary combat support, would be realigned to Vandenberg AFB, CA. DoD also recommended to realign the 142d Fighter Wing (ANG) by distributing the wing's F-15 aircraft to the 177th Fighter Wing (ANG), Atlantic City, NJ (six aircraft) and the 159th Fighter Wing (ANG), New Orleans ARS, LA (nine aircraft). The 142d Fighter Wing's expeditionary combat support elements, along with the 244th and 272d Combat Communications Squadrons (ANG), would remain at Portland and Portland would continue to support a Homeland Defense alert commitment. The 304th Rescue Squadron (AFR) at Portland would be realigned to McChord AFB, WA, with no aircraft involved.

Secretary of State Justification: This recommendation would realign Portland's KC-135R tanker aircraft to Forbes Field and Tinker, installations with higher military value. Tinker (4) and Forbes (35) ranked higher than Portland (71) for the tanker mission, and both installations would remain operationally effective due to their proximity to air refueling missions. This recommendation would also ensure that critical KC-135 backup aircraft inventory levels would be preserved. Portland's ECS would remain in place to support the Air Expeditionary Force and to retain trained, experienced Airmen. This recommendation would also realign Portland's F-15 fighter aircraft to an installation of higher military value. Atlantic City (61) ranked higher than Portland (77) for the fighter mission, and realigning Portland's F-15 aircraft to Atlantic City would help to create an optimum-sized fighter squadron (24 Primary Aircraft Assigned). While New Orleans (79) ranked slightly below Portland for the fighter mission, the Air Force used military judgment in realigning Portland's remaining F-15 aircraft to New Orleans. New Orleans had above average military value for reserve component bases, and realigning aircraft from Portland would create another optimum-sized fighter squadron at New Orleans. By relocating the geographically separated Air National Guard squadron to New Orleans, the Air Force best utilizes available facilities on the installation while reducing the cost to the government to lease facilities in the community.

The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $85.5M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a cost of $36.2M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $14.0M, with a payback expected in seven years. The net present value of the savings to the Department over 20 years would be $100.2M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 1,018 jobs (564 direct jobs and 454 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (less than 0.1 percent). Impacts of costs include $0.3M in costs for environmental compliance and waste management.

Community Concerns: The Portland Community, including its elected representatives, strongly argued that the Portland International Airport Air Guard Station should remain intact. The community asserted that the proposed realignment would put the alert force structure below the pre-September 11, 2001, posture and leave Northwest population centers, airline traffic, and maritime routes vulnerable to future threats. It further expressed the opinion that the homeland defense mission was not adequately factored into the BRAC military value selection criteria. The community asserted that DoD consulted with neither the Oregon Governor nor the Adjutant General regarding the effect on their homeland security missions. The community believes that recruitment and retention of the expeditionary combat support unit that would remain in place as an enclave would suffer dramatically. The community argued the realignment makes no economic sense because there are no real personnel savings. It pointed out that the initial presentations by the Air Force staff to the Air Force Base Closure Executive Group projected payback, excluding personnel savings, to be in excess of 100 years and annual savings of $200,000, while the final report shows payback, including personnel savings, will be realized in only seven years with an annual savings of $14 million. The community argued that the 100 year payback projection is closer to being accurate.

Commission Findings: The Commission found that the Department of Defense recommendation to realign the Portland International Airport Air Guard Station and to continue to support an alert commitment at Portland with a two-fighter-aircraft detachment on a rotational basis could not be supported. With respect to the fighter aircraft the Commission believes that the Air Force did not adequately address homeland security issues because its military value analysis was done by platform rather than by installation mission or function. The Commission found that the recommendation regarding the KC-135 tanker realignment to be adequately supported. The Commission noted that the Department of homeland security declined to participate in the public dialogue with the Commission.

The Commission found that the DoD rationale for relocating the 304th Rescue Squadron (Air Force Reserve) is no longer applicable; the Commission recommends they remain in place. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Laydown Plan.

Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criterion 1, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:

Realign Portland International Airport Air Guard Station, OR. Realign the 939th Air Refueling Wing (AFR). Distribute the KC-135R/T aircraft assigned to the 939th Air Refueling Wing (AFR) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Establish the 507th Air Refueling Wing (AFR), Tinker Air Force Base, OK as a twelve Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) KC-135R/T wing. Operations and maintenance manpower for four PAA aircraft from the 939th Air Refueling Wing will realign to Tinker Air Force Base, OK. The 939th Air Refueling Wing's Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) is realigned to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Realign the 142d Fighter Wing (ANG). Distribute the 15 F-15 aircraft assigned to the 142d Wing (ANG) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

Establish 18 PAA F-15 aircraft at the 142d Fighter Wing (ANG), Portland International Airport Air Guard Station, OR.

Establish 18 PAA F-15 aircraft at the 159th Fighter Wing (ANG), New Orleans ARS, LA.

The 142d Fighter Wing's Expeditionary Combat Support elements, along with the 244th and 272d Combat Communications Squadrons (ANG), and the 304th Rescue Squadron (AFR), will remain at Portland and Portland will continue to support a homeland defense alert commitment. The 214th Engineering Installation Squadron (ANG), a geographically separated unit at Jackson Barracks, LA, is relocated onto available facilities at New Orleans.

The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.



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