Merkley, Wyden Announce $31 million Investment for Oregon Air National Guard Facilities in Portland Secured in 2024 Funding Package

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced two critical community-initiated projects totaling $31 million for the Oregon Air National Guard in Portland have passed through the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) minibus funding package. This six-bill package cleared both chambers of Congress last week and was quickly signed into law by President Biden.

The investments are part of the FY24 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies funding bill that was included in the funding package, putting the Oregon Air National Guard closer than ever to completing phases 3 and 4 of their project to consolidate and modernize training facilities for the 125th Special Tactics Squadron (STS) based in Portland.

“Our Air National Guard members perform critical work to help protect the security of Oregon and our nation,” Merkley said. “This funding for the Special Tactics Complex will help make Oregon a West Coast hub for specialized training and provide Oregon’s Air National Guard members with up-to-date training and resources.”

“This fresh federal investment in the Oregon Air National Guard adds up to a stronger defense for our country and better training for the Guard members keeping our skies safe,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified the Portland-based squadron has secured these additional resources and will keep battling for similar funds to continue ensuring the Oregon Air National Guard has the up-to-date training and equipment it needs.”

Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, which wrote the bill and is one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making.

Merkley and Wyden teamed up to champion the significant investments for the Oregon Air National Guard, as their Special Tactics Squadron’s current buildings for training are set to be returned to the Port of Portland in 2030. The funding will increase operational and energy efficiencies and reduce overall maintenance costs for the Oregon Air National Guard. Once complete, this center is expected to become a West Coast training hub for the 125th Special Tactics Squadron in addition to those looking for specialized training.

“The efforts from Senators Merkley and Wyden and their teams on these projects directly supports our overall mission success and readiness for your local Portland Air National Guard and its service members,” said Brig. Gen. David Unruh, Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard.

With half of the key government funding bills for FY24 now passed by Congress and signed into law, Merkley and Wyden will keep working to ensure the remaining six funding bills follow suit later this month without steep cuts to programs and projects Oregon families rely on. Passing these bills is necessary to avoid a partial government shutdown that would be harmful to communities across the state and nation.