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Mar-03-2012 18:54printcommentsVideo

Oregon Soldiers Mobilize in Support of CENTCOM Missions in the Middle East

Video essay captures sights and sounds of event.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber congratulates Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Steven Armstrong
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber congratulates Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Steven Armstrong, of the Forward Support Medical Team, Charlie Co., 7-158 Aviation, following his unit's mobilization ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Fa)

(SALEM) - Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers were honored in a mobilization ceremony in Salem Friday, prior to heading to the Middle East in support of Central Command (CENTCOM) missions throughout the region for approximately one year.

The ceremony was held at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Salem. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Salem Mayor Anna Peterson and Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon, attended the ceremony in support of the 19 soldiers who will head to 'the Middle East'.

The Oregon soldiers are rom Charlie Co., 7-158 Aviation, based in Salem. They make up a Forward Support Medical Team (FSMT). Their mission is to take two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, which are configured for MEDEVAC missions, and join Soldiers from Charlie Co., 1-126 Aviation, Maine Army National Guard for mobilization training at Fort Hood, Texas, before heading to the Middle East.

The Oregon Soldiers have just completed two weeks of pre-mobilization training at Camp Rilea, in Warrenton, Ore.

The FSMT will fall under the command and control of the Maine Army National Guard unit, which will report to CENTCOM once they arrive in the region. The group leader for the Oregon contingent is Oregon Army National Guard Capt. Tyler Eikenberry.

"We are excited for the opportunity to work with our sister unit out of Maine," said Eikenberry.

"It is extremely beneficial for us to be able to cross-train with another aviation unit that shares our specific mission, and are looking forward to supporting current operations being conducted in the Middle East."

Soldiers deploying with the unit are from the following cities: Beaverton, Dallas, Dexter, Gaston, Hermiston, Hubbard, Keizer, Molalla, Monmouth, Portland, Salem, Silverton, Stayton, Tualatin, Turner and Camas, Wash.

This video essay from the event was shot and produced by's Jerry Freeman:

Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who entered the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people who fulfilled their life dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “a truck driver with a new found passion to bear witness to the world’s events.”

Teaming up with he embarked on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Jerry's quick exhibition of natural talent and ability to shoot breaking news led to his becoming a published member of the team.

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A special thank you to Steven Armstr July 24, 2015 8:59 am (Pacific time)

Thank you Steven Armstrong for helping my friend an I, at the Blue Angels Air show in Hillsboro Oregon. You pushed me in my wheelchair back to our car after heat stroke came upon my friend. Thanks again. Be safe, god bless. Tina Simpson.

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