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Colo. Guardsmen continue supporting wildfire suppression, Guard dual-status commander assigned 
By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs 
National Guard Reaction Force provides security 

Colorado Army National Guard Sgt. Daniel Evanson and Spc. Mark Goya provide security for evacuated homes at a check point near Stagecoach road and Highway 83 near the Black Forest fire in El Paso County, Colo. June 12, 2013.  (Army National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Skye A. Robinson/RELEASED)

Click here or on the photo for a high-resolution file.

More photos from the Black Forest fire area available on Flickr.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Incident Command Team
Public Information Officer
David Eaker

Colorado National Guard
Public Affairs
Capt. Darin Overstreet

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (6/14/13) – Approximately 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.

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 110,000 gallons of water on the fire since June 11.

One LUH-72 Lakota helicopter and crew are continuing to provide aerial firefighting coordination.

Fourteen members of the 1157th Firefighting Company (Engineers), along with their firefighting trucks and tenders, are also continuing to fighting the fire.

Colorado’s National Guard Reaction Force, composed of 120 personnel and several vehicles, are providing security at up to 20 checkpoints in the Black Forest area.

Four 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, including the newly designated dual-status commander.

Colorado Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne was assigned the DSC responsibility June 13. In this capacity, he will direct federal active-duty and reserve forces, and state National Guard forces in support of civil authorities’ requests for assistance.

“In the National Guard, we serve for moments like this – when we can help our neighbors,” Byrne said. “As the dual-status commander, we’re very streamlined in our ability to bring military forces together into this challenging but rewarding mission. Everyone has been serving with great distinction, and I expect nothing less as our support continues. Our focus now is maintaining safety and ensuring the civilian agencies receive the support they need.”

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. Additionally, resources and personnel from the U.S. Air Force Academy; Peterson Air Force Base; Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station; Buckley Air Force Base; and Fort Carson are helping fight the fire.

“Our National Guard, active-duty and reserve forces have been operating as a well-oiled machine. As I tour the Black Forest burn area today with Gov. Hickenlooper, I look forward to sharing my appreciation for the great support our military forces have provided – and will continue to provide,” said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen Mike Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. “The coordination with our interagency partners has been seamless.”

The Colorado National Guard helicopters and crews are launching daily 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.

Not under Byrne’s prevue are the Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems and personnel from the 145th Air Expeditionary Group, North Carolina Air National Guard; and the Air Force Reserve’s 302nd Airlift Wing, which jointly form the 731st Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.

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 Incident Command Team Public Information Officer David Eaker, david_eaker@nps.gov, 435-619-1651. For information about the Colorado National Guard, contact Capt. Darin Overstreet, 720-250-1053.

File photos:

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

File video:

National Guard firefighting: http://bit.ly/KZQeZI


Bambi-Bucket® drops, Black Forest fire: http://bit.ly/11N6Fiq

Bambi-Bucket® drops, High Park fire: http://bit.ly/17H61HJ

Fact sheets:

Dual-status commander: http://bit.ly/12ua8Eu

Joint Task Force-Centennial: http://bit.ly/14znsH4

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

National Guard Communications Element, who operate the Joint Continental United States Communications Support Environment: http://bit.ly/LQUxTg

Emergency Management Assistance Compact: http://bit.ly/19qiSyz

High-altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site: http://bit.ly/mY1OPl


Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne: http://bit.ly/19zYU4e


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