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​The Adjutant General of Colorado Air Force Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards speaks in the West Foyer of the State Capitol in Denver, Colo., about the Colorado National Guard's 152nd birthday, Jan. 23, 2012. The birthday celebration coincided with the Colorado General Assembly's Military and Veterans Appreciation Day. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Cheresa D. Theiral)

Click here or on the photo to download a high-resolution image.

Friday, Jan. 20, 2017

Air National Guard Lt. Col. Elena O'Bryan, 303-912-3829

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Governor John W. Hickenlooper will host a Colorado National Guard 157th birthday celebration in the West Foyer of the State Capitol Jan. 23 at 11:10 a.m.

"Since Jan. 23, 1860, the Colorado National Guard has dutifully served our communities, state, and nation as our foundational defense force," Hickenlooper said. "That record of service has never been broken. We continue to feel the impact of their contributions here at home and overseas."

The Colorado National Guard has a storied service: from the defeat of Confederate forces at the Battle of Glorieta Pass during the Civil War in New Mexico territory to the taking of Manila during the Spanish American War; from the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp during World War II to the first flying unit to receive federal recognition as an Air National Guard unit a year before the formation of the U.S. Air Force.

"It's important that we remember our beginnings as a territorial militia," The Adjutant General of Colorado Air Force Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards said. "We should look to the past to understand the future role of the National Guard."

The Colorado National Guard has unique missions: serving as headquarters for our nation's ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile defense system; having the only mobile, survivable platform for global missile warning and detection of space launches and nuclear detonations; guarding our skies with fighter jets on continuous alert; teaching rotary-wing pilots from around the world how to safely operate their aircraft at high altitudes and low power scenarios.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Colorado National Guard has had more than 7,000 individual overseas deployments. The Colorado National Guard supports more than 20 helicopter search and rescue missions annually and assists civil authorities with response and recovery efforts in the wake of wildfires, floods, blizzards, tornadoes, and more.

The Colorado National Guard's color guard and 101st Army Band will participate in the ceremony.

Colorado National Guard historical artifacts will be on display.

The event is open to the public.

Part of the ceremony will be livestreamed at


FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: News media representatives should set up in the West Foyer no later than 10:30 a.m. Media can conduct interviews after the ceremony. For questions, please contact Lt. Col. Elena O'Bryan, 303-912-3829, or e-mail:

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