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Colorado Army National Guard Aviation unit to head to Afghanistan 
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Army 1st Lt. Anthony Norris
Cell: 303-478-0177

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (5/19/11) – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and other dignitaries will bid farewell to approximately 70 Colorado Army National Guardsmen May 21 at 2 p.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo.

The Soldiers of Detachment 1, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation will join up with a company from a sister unit from Nebraska, and train at Fort Hood, Texas, later this month. The company will then head to Afghanistan for a 12-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Company B is the Colorado Army National Guard heavy lift helicopter unit,” said Army Capt. Brian Johns, Commander, 2-135th GSAB. “The unit will be based in Kandahar and surrounding bases and spend the next year transporting troops and cargo all over Afghanistan.”

Company B operates CH-47 Chinook helicopters and is based at Buckley Air Force Base, although the Citizen-Soldiers of the unit live and work in communities all over Colorado.

“These brave men and women are making tremendous sacrifices while serving away from their families and civilian jobs to keep us safe in Colorado,” said Hickenlooper. 

During the 10 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed more than 6,000 times while maintaining state emergency response capabilities and supporting 24/7/365 homeland defense missions.

For Assignment Editors: Media interested in attending must confirm with 1st Lt. Anthony Norris at 303-478-0177.  In order to enter Buckley Air Force Base, media must enter at the Mississippi Avenue gate (just east of the Tower Road and Mississippi Avenue intersection) NO LATER THAN 1 p.m. and go through the commercial vehicle inspection area.  Media representatives will be required to provide their drivers' licenses, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. Media will be escorted to and from the event by convoy.


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