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Colorado National Guard to retire Multiple Launch Rocket System with 150th anniversary combined live fire demonstration: Heavy artillery, fighters, helicopters, marksmen to demonstrate military proficiency 
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, June 10, 2010

RSVP TO:
Deborah Grigsby Smith
(720) 250-1057
by 5 p.m., June 11, 2010

ON SITE CONTACT:
Air Force Capt. Darin Overstreet
(303) 726-4716

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/10/10) – In a historic and befitting retirement for its M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System, as well as continuing the year-long celebration of its 150th anniversary, the Colorado National Guard will conduct a free, public combined arms live fire demonstration, Saturday, June 12 at 1 p.m. at Fort Carson’s Training Area 11 (TA11).

The event, which is open to the general public, will feature a special commemorative last fire of the M270 MLRS, a tactical track-mounted rocket artillery system, along with special demonstrations and displays from both the Army and Air National Guard. The MLRS is being replaced with the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

“A live fire is such a fitting salute for the MLRS, a system that has served us well for the past eight years,” said Col. Dana M. Capozzella, commander of the Colorado Army National Guard. “And to have those we serve, as well as the rest of the Colorado National Guard, here to help send the MLRS off in style is a great way to celebrate not only the end of an era, but to reiterate the significance of our 150th anniversary.”

Additional demonstrations will include a 2,000 pound bomb drop and a show of force by F-16s of the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing, based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora; a special forces Black Hawk helicopter insertion and building assault; and a sniper scenario. Several static displays will be on hand to demonstrate other capabilities of the Colorado National Guard.

Live fire exercises have long been used by the armed forces as an opportunity to use real ammunition in a simulated combat situation. The purpose of this type of exercise has two goals. One, it offers Soldiers and Airmen an opportunity to gain experience with their weapon systems, and secondly, it provides the public a chance to personally see what its Guard is capable of doing.

“The Soldiers of the 169th Fires Brigade are honored to participate in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Colorado National Guard,” said Army Col. Gregory Miller, brigade commander. “After completing multiple combat tours in Iraq, it is a privilege to demonstrate our Soldier skills to the citizens of Colorado.”

For more than 150 years, the men and women of the Colorado National Guard have served in defense of our nation and as the first military responders in support of civil authorities during domestic emergencies.

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IMPORTANT FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Media wishing to cover this event must RSVP to Deborah Grigsby Smith (civilian) at (720) 250-1057 by 5 p.m. June 11, 2010. This event will occur in a remote training area. No electricity will be available. Please come prepared with sufficient batteries, closed-toe shoes and adequate supplies. Roads from the entry gate (see directions) are unpaved. We highly recommend bringing an all-wheel drive vehicle with higher clearance. Please do not bring top-heavy ENG trucks. For questions and additional planning information, please contact Deborah at the aforementioned number.

Media must check in at Fort Carson Gate 7 no later than 11:15 a.m. June 12, 2010, for escort directly to the demonstration site.

Directions to Gate 7 (from Denver)

· Take Interstate 25 south from Denver to Colorado Springs.

· Take Exit 140 on to Highway 115/Nevada Ave.

· Drive approximately 9 miles south on Highway 115 to the Gate 7 entrance to Fort Carson. Gate 7 is the fourth entrance to Fort Carson as you travel south on Highway 115.

· Soldiers will greet you there and provide additional instructions and directions.

FOR EDITORS: Please help us ensure accuracy by noting the following terms and their correct usage.

Colorado National Guard: Refers to both the Colorado Army National Guard and the Colorado Air National Guard. It can be used collectively.

Colorado Air National Guard: Refers primarily to the 140th Wing, 120th Fighter Squadron, 137th Space Warning Squadron, and the 200th Airlift Squadron. The Colorado Air National Guard operates F-16 Fighting Falcons and C-21 Learjets. They DO NOT operate helicopters.

Colorado Army National Guard: Refers to the Army component of the Colorado National Guard and its numerous units. For the demonstration, it refers to the 169th Fires Brigade who will be launching the MLRS; the 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, who will be conducting the sniper demonstration; as well as the Colorado Army National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF), which operates the helicopters (UH-60 Black Hawks, CH-47 Chinooks and OH-1 Kiowas) and will be demonstrating the air assault.

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6/10/2010