FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, June 17, 2013
Colorado National Guard
Capt. Darin Overstreet
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/17/13) — The dual-status commander selected by to support Black Forest fire response and relief efforts for military forces in Colorado returned solely to National Guard status at 5 p.m.
Brig. Gen. Pete Byrne was appointed to the position June 13 by Gov. John Hickenlooper in agreement with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
When agreed upon by the secretary of defense and the governor of an affected state, dual-status commanders can direct federal active-duty and reserve forces, and state National Guard forces in response to domestic incidents.
Now that there is no further anticipated need to bring on active-duty or reserve forces for ongoing wildfires, there is no longer a necessary role of a dual-status commander.
“The simplicity of this transition to a dual-status commander clearly showed that we have made great progress in military support to civilian authorities,” Byrne said. “The skill and professionalism of our National Guard and active duty service members who have supported the wildfire response has certainly warranted the accolades we’ve seen in the media. I couldn’t be more proud of their determination and dedication. As we continue to respond with National Guard forces, I know we’ll see the same outstanding efforts. Everyone is so proud to be helping their neighbors and Colorado community.”
Byrne will continue to serve as the director of the Joint Staff, Joint Force Headquarters-Colorado National Guard; and the commander of the standing Joint Task Force-Centennial.
“This is a natural part of the process,” Byrne said. “The military is trained and ready to serve in a surge capacity when needed, but as soon as the civilian capabilities are in place, it’s time to start paring back the military forces.”
Currently, Colorado National Guard members continue to serve as firefighters, security personnel, communication technology specialists, and command staff members.
Joint Task Force-Centennial: http://bit.ly/14znsH4
Brig. Gen. Peter Byrne bio: http://bit.ly/15dZhL4
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