FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, June 13, 2013
El Paso County Sheriff
Public Information Officer
Lt. Jeff Kramer
Colorado National Guard
Capt. Darin Overstreet
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/13/13) – More than 140 personnel from the Colorado 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 64,000 gallons of water on the fire so far.
One LUH-72 Lakota helicopter and crew are continuing to provide aerial firefighting coordination.
Thirteen members of the 1157th Firefighting Company (Engineers), along with their firefighting trucks and tenders, are also continuing to fighting the fire.
Additionally, 80 more personnel and additional vehicles from Colorado’s National Guard Reaction Force have been called to provide additional security at up to 17 checkpoints in the Black Forest area, bringing the total NGRF to 120 Guardsmen and 24 vehicles.
Eight Airmen from the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Incident Site Communications Capability team 16 are continuing to support the incident command with communications support.
At any given time, approximately 20 additional personnel are providing various types of assistance in direct support of the operation.
The Colorado National Guard is operating in state active duty status to assist the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department in fighting the Black Forest fire.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Colorado’s Citizen-Soldiers supporting our communities,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen Mike Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. “It is usually unfortunate circumstances when the National Guard is called in, but for Guard members, supporting our neighbors is the most rewarding mission we do.”
The Colorado 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.
An additional UH-60 outfitted with a hoist is on standby at the High-altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site in Gypsum, Colo., to provide medevac and search-and-rescue capabilities for civil authorities fighting the Big Meadow fire in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colo.
Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers are always ready, always there to support civil authorities.
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 the Colorado JISCC team June 12.
For more information on the fire call 719-444-8300. Public information is also available at http://www.elpasoco.com/pages/default.aspx or on Twitter, @EPCSheriff, @epcpio #BlackForestFire.
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. Communications personnel are Airmen from the Colorado Air National Guard. Soldiers from the Colorado Army National Guard are providing checkpoint security. Collectively, these Soldiers and Airmen are National Guardsmen.
Black Forest firefighting: http://bit.ly/11BDdZM
Colorado National Guard firefighting: http://bit.ly/1bvVyfb
Search and rescue: http://bit.ly/14yKo99
High-altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site: http://bit.ly/19uP4k9
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
High-altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site: http://bit.ly/mY1OPl
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