*** UPDATE: AS OF 10:35 A.M. TODAY, THIS MISSION HAS BEEN CANCELLED. ***
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Capt. Michael Odgers
Office: (720) 250-1024
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (12/1/10) – The Colorado Army National Guard is on standby to launch a helicopter to assist the Saguache County Sheriff's Office search for a missing hiker.
Weather conditions are currently prohibiting the safe operation of the aircraft.
An OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, with two Colorado Army National Guard Soldiers, is prepared to launch from the High Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Gypsum, Colo., to search for the male hiker.
The hiker, Abisha Mounce of Atlanta, Ga., was reported missing Nov. 14. Anyone who may have seen Mounce in the Saguache area or who has any information that may help locate him is encouraged to contact Mark Werts of the Saguache County Sherriff’s Office at (719) 655-2525.
Colorado National Guard rescue efforts are coordinated through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and the CONG Joint Operations Center in Centennial, Colo. The AFRCC ties in to the Federal Aviation Administration’s alerting system and the U.S. Mission Control Center.
HAATS is located in the small mountain town of Gypsum, Colo., near Vail. The school caters to rotory-wing military pilots from all over the world. Graduates of this challenging course leave with the knowledge of a unique training system known as Power Management. This training concept, when applied rigorously, gives pilots the knowledge and confidence to operate their machines routinely and safely at maximum gross weights in any environment.
While the primary role of HAATS is to train, the facility also assists in search and rescue missions when the terrain or altitude makes landing a civilian emergency service 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.
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