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News Releases
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Former Army Depot officially renamed in honor of retired general Raymond F. Rees (Photo) - 09/30/22

SALEM, Ore. - The Umatilla Chemical Depot located in Umatilla, Oregon, was officially renamed the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees, during a ceremony on September 29, 2022, highlighting the current transformation and development of the historic installation. 

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, providing the state of Oregon and the United States with a ready force of Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen. Rees also held various high-level leadership positions in the National Guard Bureau. After he retired from military service in 2013, he served at the Deputy Secretary of the Army as a civilian. 

Several distinguished guest and local elected officials were in attendance for this ceremony, which will also impact the economy of Eastern Oregon for the foreseeable future. 

In 2017 a license was signed by the Oregon Military Department (OMD) to secure 7,500 of the depot’s former 17,055 acres as a training site for the Oregon National Guard. The Raymond F. Rees Training Center will be the home of the 249th Regional Training Institute, providing a premiere joint and inter-agency training facility. 

Since OMD received the property, over $60,000,000 has been invested in Construction, Modernization and Restoration. Projects have ranged from barracks, dining facilities, electrical and water infrastructure, waste water treatment facility, and a STARBASE Academy. Within the next three years, an additional $40,000,000 will be invested in modernized ranges, new ranges, and additional barracks.

Biography for Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_F._Rees

Full length recording of the ceremony: https://youtu.be/VUDasDwq9QQ

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Released images:

220929-Z-CM403-101: Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, Adjutant General, addresses guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-141: Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief, National Guard Bureau, gives remarks to guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-157: State Senator, Bill Hansell, gives remarks to guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army.(Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-161: State Representative, Greg Smith, gives remarks to guests at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation in his honor on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army.  (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CM403-202: (From L to R on stage) Gen. Daniel Hokanson, Chief, National Guard Bureau, Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, Adjutant General and Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, watch as a Chinook helicopter flies over the new front gate at the Rees Training Center, in Umatilla, Oregon, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Rees, during a renaming ceremony of the installation on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (Oregon National Guard photo by Aaron Perkins, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0033: Members of the Oregon Army National Gaud 234th Army Band participate in the ceremony for the official renaming service at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0130: Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau (left), Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon (center) render a hand salute to Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees (right), as Gen. Hokanson deferred 'Ruffles and Flourishes' to honor Rees to being the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0356: Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, delivers remarks as the Keynote Speaker to guest and local officials during the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0227: Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, addresses guests and local officials as the host during the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0238: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees listens to remarks by Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau during the renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0639: Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau (right), Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon (center) and Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees (left) share a private moment off-stage following the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0568: (From Left to Right) Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon, friend of Mrs. Rees, Mrs. Mary Len Rees, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees, Oregon State Senator, Bill Hansell, Oregon State Rep. Greg Smith and Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau pause for a group follow the Christening and Flyover for the renaming ceremony for Raymond F. Rees Training Center,, at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0461: Maj. Gen. (ret.) Raymond F. Rees, Oregon, addresses guests and local officials during his formal remarks  for the official renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

220929-Z-CH590-0060: Oregon Army National Guard Color Guard members render colors during the National Anthem to begin the renaming ceremony at the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, Umatilla, Oregon, on Sept. 29, 2022. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, retiring from military service in 2013, and later worked as a civilian as the Deputy Secretary of the Army. (National Guard photo by John Hughel, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

 

Additional images: 

Group One:

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7444432/former-army-depot-officially-renamed-honor-retired-general-raymond-f-rees

Group Two: 

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7444130/former-army-depot-officially-renamed-honor-retired-general-raymond-f-rees

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Army Depot to be renamed after former Oregon General (Photo) - 09/28/22

SALEM, Ore. - The Umatilla Chemical Depot located in Umatilla, Oregon, will be renamed the Raymond F. Rees Training Center, in honor of Maj. Gen. (Ret) Raymond F. Rees, during a ceremony at the installation on Sept. 29, 2022. 

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Raymond F. Rees is a retired Oregon Guardsman and served as The Adjutant General, Oregon for more than 16 years, providing the state of Oregon and the United States with a ready force of citizen Soldiers and Airmen. Rees also held various high-level positions in the National Guard Bureau and Pentagon during his military service and as a civilian.

The depot originally opened in 1941 as the Umatilla Army Ordnance Depot, used to store munitions and conduct supply operations. In 1962, the installation began storing and maintaining chemical munitions. In 2011 the disposal of all chemical agents at the site was complete and in 2012 the U.S. Army officially closed the installation. 

In 2017 a license was signed by the Oregon Military Department to secure 7,500 of the depot’s former 17,055 acres as a training site for the Oregon National Guard. The Raymond F. Rees Training Center will be the home of the 249th Regional Training Institute, providing a premiere joint and inter-agency training facility. 

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For more information regarding this press release, please contact:

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Holden

Public Affairs, Oregon Military Department

1-971-355-2076

Zachary.l.holden.mil@army.mil

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Oregon National Guard Helping Fight Double Creek Fire (Photo) - 09/24/22

JOSEPH, Ore. - Oregon National Guard members are helping with the Double Creek Fire by providing staffing to road closure points around the fire's perimeter. The Double Creek Fire in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Northeast, Oregon, at at more than 157,000 acres it is considered a Megafire by the U.S. Forest Service. Currently, the Oregon Forestry Department says they have the fire 81% contained that started by a lightning strike.

The Oregon National Guard has been at the fire since September 10, and recently switched out some personnel with fresh service members to provide safety and security. The approximately 30 guard members staffing road closure points serve to protect area residents and wildland firefighters. 

Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Decker, who's volunteered since the Rum Creek Fire in Josephine County, said, "The National Guard is the last resource called in to come in and help – so we come in, we help with these TAPs (Traffic Assistance Points), where we're out there trying to keep everybody safe."

Wallowa County is a very rural area that draws many to its natural beauty and outdoor activities. 

“It’s that time of the season, and you know they want to do their hunt, and they got their tags, and they want to fill them,” said Decker. "We understand that, but it's not safe for them, and it's not safe for the fire crews either."

Oregon National Guard Maj. Joshua Reese, the officer in charge of the National Guard group, is an IT specialist that works at the Salem Hospital for his civilian job, said, "As a Citizen-Soldier, it's an honor to serve my fellow Oregonians and help keep people safe,” commenting on his fellow members supporting fire operations. "I'm really proud of our group, some of these soldiers and airmen have been on State Active Duty [orders] for over 28 days, working these closure points."

The Oregon National Guard has a history of helping fight wildland fires, like their motto, "Always Ready, Always There." The guard has several firefighting crews trained to fight fires that are ready if called on to support strained civilian firefighting crews. In addition, Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen are volunteers that typically serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year. The National Guard is the primary military organization that also serves the communities where they live.

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B-roll link: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/858563/oregon-national-guard-helping-fight-double-creek-fire

Photo Captions

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Cpt. Cody Comerford and Maj. Joshua Reese give an in-brief to fresh Double Creek Fire volunteers of the Oregon National Guard at the La Grande National Guard Armory Sept. 23, 2022. The volunteers will staff road closure points around the perimeter of the Double Creek Megafire in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest area.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

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Double Creek Fire volunteers Sgt. Justin Seibel, Sgt. Kenneth Steward, and Spc. Pamela Fredrick fill out State Active Duty forms at the La Grande National Guard Armory Sept. 23, 2022. The volunteers will staff road closure points around the perimeter of the Double Creek Megafire in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest area.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

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Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (NCOIC) Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Decker gives a situation brief to new Double Creek Fire volunteers at the main fire camp in Joseph, Ore., Sept. 23, 2022. The volunteers will staff road closure points around the perimeter of the Double Creek Megafire in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest area.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)

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Double Creek Fire volunteer Spc. Zack Baker talks with area residents at a road closure point in Imnaha, Ore., Sept. 23, 2022. Baker, along with fellow guard members, are staffing road closure points around the perimeter of the Double Creek Megafire in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest area.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. W. Chris Clyne, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)