FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Thursday, December 29, 2011
Air Force Maj. Elena O’Bryan
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (12/30/11) – The Colorado Army National Guard was called yesterday to assist the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office in the search for two hunters reported missing Dec. 28.
One OH-58 Kiowa helicopter with a crew of two COARNG Citizen-Soldiers on board, launched at 7:40 a.m. yesterday from the High-altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Gypsum, Colo.
The search area was five miles north of the Saguache County Airport at an altitude of 8-10,000 feet, where there were 6-12 inches of snow on the ground.
Ground search crews found the hunters yesterday.
HAATS performs a critical mission, providing life-saving combat aviation skills to American pilots serving in mountainous Afghanistan and other austere environments around the world.
The unit also assists civil authorities in the high country, with more than 50 percent of all aviation-supported search and rescues in the United States.
HAATS is located between Vail and Glenwood Springs, Colo. 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 in a power-limited environment.
Rescue efforts are coordinated through the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, which notifies the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Operations Center in Centennial, Colo. AFRCC ties into the Federal Aviation Administration’s alerting system and the U.S. Mission Control Center.
For more information on this mission, please contact the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office at 719-655-2544.
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