FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Air Force Maj. Elena O’Bryan
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/7/11) – One Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter with a crew of three Citizen-Soldiers launched from the Army Aviation Support Facility at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. today to support flood relief operations in Nebraska.
Colorado Gov. John W. Hickenlooper signed an executive order authorizing the deployment of certain Colorado National Guard resources to assist in flood fighting in, and at the request of, Nebraska after the Governor of Nebraska declared a state disaster there.
The Soldiers, assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation, will mitigate flooding in the North Platte, Neb. area by supporting sandbagging operations for at least the next four days as part of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
The EMAC is a national mutual aid partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during governor- or federally-declared emergencies.
“The EMAC is about neighbors helping neighbors in time of need,” said Colorado Adjutant General Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, who grew up on a farm in Nebraska. “We’re here to help our neighbors get back to normal.”
Under the EMAC all relevant costs to the State of Colorado will be reimbursed by the State of Nebraska.
The EMAC concept was approved by Congress in 1996 and provides governors a means to quickly request assistance for any type of emergency, from earthquakes to acts of terrorism. When state resources are overwhelmed, National Guard units nationwide can step in and fill shortfalls.
The AASF provides trained and ready crews and aircraft to support federal missions and respond to state emergencies.
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.
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