Washington County Fair Complex to Receive Help from Oregon National Guard

Release date: 05/03/2013
Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

The Washington County Fair Complex has been chosen by the Oregon National Guard (ORNG) and the 1249 Engineer Battalion (EN BN) as the site of a training deployment which begins Monday, May 6 through May 16.  The training exercise will be conducted through the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) Program which allows soldiers to gain valuable field experience while helping local communities. 

The IRT will provide labor and equipment to repair and improve numerous areas around the Fair Complex. A few examples include the renovation of Friendship Square to provide additional usable space and the installation of shutters on the Small Animal Barn which will allow it to be used for dry storage when the Fair is not in session. 

According to Washington County Facilities Manager Candi Paradis, "We couldn't be happier to receive this help from the National Guard. The IRT will provide the labor and some of the equipment for these projects at the Fair Complex which will keep our costs down. This is a great service to the citizens of Washington County." 

Many members of the 1249th EN BN work in the construction industry by trade. When on active duty, they have deployed to various parts of Iraq and Afghanistan where they helped to rebuild war-torn areas. While in Oregon, they take on projects around the state that benefit the local community but also provide valuable opportunities to hone their building skills as well as train in convoy operations, troop leadership, and project management. The IRT program is open to all public entities and many not-for-profit organizations.  

IRT Project Manager, Captain Donald "Duffy" Cavanaugh describes Innovative Readiness Training as "real world training opportunities for our soldiers to prepare them for their wartime missions. It also supports the needs of our communities at home, so it's definitely a win-win."

Washington County will welcome approximately 400 soldiers from the IRT Program. They will set up a base camp at the Fair Complex during this time and train as if they were truly taking on a wartime challenge. 

Fair Complex Manager Leah Perkins-Hagele believes that the updates at the Fairgrounds will improve the overall safety and efficiency of the whole complex. She feels that the improvements will boost revenue during the rest of the year by making the facilities more appealing as a rental venue.

People who wish to observe can check in with 1249th EN BN personnel near the front entrance.

Media Contact:

Julie McCloud, Public & Govt. Affairs Assistant