FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Air Force Maj. Elena O’Bryan
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/19/11) – The Colorado Army National Guard was called today to assist the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a man who fell into the Colorado River in Eagle County, Colo.
An OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, with two Colorado Army National Guard Soldiers on board, launched at 4:30 p.m. from the High Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Gypsum, Colo., to aid in the search. The aircrew made two sweeps of the area.
They returned to base at about 7 p.m. tonight.
Officials with the Eagle County Sherriff’s Office said they will request further assistance from the Colorado National Guard through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center for a continued search tomorrow morning.
“HAATS pilots have assisted Eagle County save numerous wilderness users in tough terrain in the past,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the Adjutant General of Colorado. “We’ll do all we can to help.”
HAATS performs a critical mission providing life-saving combat skills to American pilots serving in mountainous Afghanistan.
HAATS is located near Vail. The school trains military rotary-wing pilots from around the world in Power Management, which gives pilots the knowledge and confidence to operate their aircraft routinely and safely at maximum gross weights in any environment and especially at high altitudes.
Rescue efforts are coordinated through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, which notifies the Colorado National Guard’s 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.
Contact Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Shannon Cordingly at 970-376-7000 for more information regarding the search and rescue operations.
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