CENTENNIAL, Colo. (7/29/10) – The Colorado Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation transported one injured hiker and two emergency service personnel to a ground ambulance in Rollinsville, Colo., in Gilpin County, Colo., last night.
A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with a crew of Colorado Army National Guardsmen based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., conducted the high altitude rescue operation using night vision capabilities at approximately 2.5 miles southwest of the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel at 11,000 feet.
The severe weather and heavy rain in the area prevented the civilian emergency medical services aircraft from safely landing, therefore military support was needed.
The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center contacted the Colorado National Guard at approximately 9:28 p.m. to assist in rescue efforts led by the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department.
“This Colorado Army National Guard flight crew was on a training mission when the call came that a citizen who had been lost and found by authorities was in trouble,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the adjutant general of Colorado. “Our helicopter air crew proceeded to the scene to help.”
Colorado National Guard rescue efforts are coordinated through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. The center ties in to the Federal Aviation Administration’s alerting system and the U.S. Mission Control Center.
The Colorado National Guard assists civil authorities with search and rescue missions when the terrain or altitude makes landing a civilian EMS aircraft questionable or there is a need for specialized military equipment.
For more than 150 years the Colorado National Guard has served communities across Colorado while defending our nation. The Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen of the Colorado National Guard are always ready, always there.