FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
El Paso County Sheriff
Public Information Officer
Lt. Jeff Kramer
Colorado National Guard
Capt. Darin Overstreet
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/12/13) – Nearly 75 personnel from the Colorado Army and Air National Guard are continuing to assist civil authorities with firefighting support at the Black Forest fire in El Paso County, Colo.
A total of three UH-60 Black Hawks, each equipped with a Bambi Bucket® capable of carrying and delivering nearly 500 gallons of water at a time, have dropped approximately 30,000 gallons of water on the fire so far.
One LUH-72 Lakota helicopter has also been provided for aerial firefighting coordination.
Thirteen members of the 1157th Firefighting Company (Engineers), along with their firefighting trucks and tenders, are also actively engaged in fighting the fire.
Two Wyoming National Guard Civil Support Team personnel provided an initial commercial internet and phone support bridge between military and civilian responders until they were relieved by eight Airmen from the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability team 16. The JISCC team will continue to support the incident command with communications support as needed.
Additionally, 40 personnel from Colorado’s National Guard Reaction Force have been placed at security checkpoints in the Black Forest area.
The Colorado Army National Guard is operating in state active-duty status to assist the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in fighting the Black Forest fire.
“It’s always painful to see neighbors in harm’s way,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen Mike Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. “That’s why domestic operations is one of the most rewarding missions we have in the National Guard. I have every confidence in the Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers we have supporting civil authorities. Not only are most combat veterans, but they are wildfire veterans from the tragic fires of last summer.”
The Colorado Army National Guard helicopters and crews launched from the Army Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., and are members of 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation.
Public information is available on Twitter @epcpio #BlackForestFire.
Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers are always ready, always there to support civil authorities.
For more information about the fire operations, contact Lieutenant Jeff Kramer, El Paso County Sheriff Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 719-520-7244. For information about the Colorado National Guard, contact, Capt. Darin Overstreet, 720-250-1053.
FOR EDITORS: The UH-60 Black Hawk and LUH-72 Lakota helicopters are being flown by Soldiers of the Colorado Army National Guard. Support personnel are Airmen from the Colorado Air National Guard and Soldiers from the Colorado Army National Guard. Collectively, these Soldiers and Airmen are National Guardsmen.
Colorado National Guard firefighting: http://bit.ly/1bvVyfb
National Guard firefighting: http://bit.ly/KZQeZI
Bambi-Bucket ® drops: http://bit.ly/17H61HJ
UH-60 Black Hawk: http://1.usa.gov/6kraJa
LUH-72 Lakota: http://1.usa.gov/13XDU1u
National Guard Reaction Force: http://bit.ly/1bvVo7H
Civil Support Team: http://bit.ly/17H5cP7
Emergency Management Assistance Compact: http://bit.ly/19qiSyz
National Guard Communications Element, who operate the Joint Continental United States Communications Support Environment: http://bit.ly/LQUxTg
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