FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Air National Guard Capt. Darin Overstreet
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (7/3/12) –The Colorado Army and Air National Guard is providing ongoing support to civil authority in Colorado Springs, Colo., as part of the overarching Joint Task Force – Centennial, for OPERATION CENTENNIAL PHOENIX.
The National Guard security personnel were largely requested in response to numerous burglary complaints in the affected area.
“The big switch came for the police department when National Guard forces got into the fight,” said Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey. “They really helped both our community and our department.”
More than 150 Colorado Army National Guard Soldiers from 193rd Military Police Battalion from the Denver Readiness Center; and the Headquarters Company and B Company of the 1st Battalion 157th Infantry from Fort Lupton, Colo., participating as part of subordinate Joint Task Force Security, are manning nine traffic control points, five security check points, and providing security to the incident command post, staging area, and spike camp all alongside and in coordination with Colorado Springs police officers.
More than 20 Citizen-Airmen from the 140th Security Forces Squadron, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard out of Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., are part of subordinate Joint Task Force Security. The Airmen are riding with Colorado Springs police officers to augment their patrolling capabilities.
Summarized from the Army Military Police Handbook a traffic control point is used to limit the flow of traffic in and out of a specified area so that essential movement is not restricted.
A security check point is established to allow access only for authorized personnel.
Authorized by the Governor’s executive order these forces help reduce the workload of civil authorities around the area affected by the fire and allow police forces to focus on routine law enforcement duties and additional affected areas around the city of Colorado Springs.
According to Colorado Springs Deputy Chief of Police Mark Smith, the police officers have come from all different jurisdictions which has left the police force thin. The National Guard will help restore their ranks and allow for more law enforcement in other parts of the city.
A COARNG UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with a crew of three Colorado Army National Guardsmen from the 2nd Battalion 135th General Support Aviation, part of subordinate Task Force Aviation, has been released from water-drop operations by the Incident Commander, as he feels the additional asset is no longer required due to successful operations and containment activities. Should requirements again exceed the capacity of the civilian aviation assets, the Colorado National Guard will be ready to support. To date this air asset dropped 127 buckets, 58,420 gallons of water onto the Waldo Canyon Fire.
The High Park fire was announced as 100% contained therefore, Task Force Security elements supporting this fire were released from duty July 2. Ongoing support to the High Park Fire includes: four water buffaloes providing potable water and the Fort Collins Readiness Center with two staff members. The readiness center is housing the incident command post.
The Colorado Joint Operations Center is continuously monitoring the fire situation around Colorado and neighboring states and supporting the operational maneuvers, administration and logistics of the overall military support to the incident commander.
Waldo Canyon Fire: www.flickr.com/photos/conationalguard/sets/72157630389471130/
High Park Fire: www.flickr.com/photos/conationalguard/sets/72157630072014657/