FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
Colorado National Guard Public Affairs
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has approved a request from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper for a dual-status commander to support flood response efforts effective 7 a.m. Sept. 14.
President Barack Obama approved a request Sept. 13 from the governor for federal disaster assistance related to the flooding in multiple counties.
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.
Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne will be appointed dual-status commander and will work with flood incident commanders.
This request for dual-status commander is similar to previous agreements for wildfire assistance with the High Park, Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires, of which Byrne also severed as DSC.
“The dual-status commander will help provide unity of command and effort,” Hickenlooper said. “This coordinated effort will help support our flood response. We thank everyone for their extraordinary efforts to help protect lives and property.”
Byrne serves as the director of Joint Staff, Joint Force Headquarters-Colorado National Guard; and is the commander of the standing Joint Task Force-Centennial.
“The ability to unify with our federal military partners to bring more manpower and support to our citizens is invaluable,” said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, adjutant general of Colorado and commander of the Colorado National Guard. “Supporting our neighbors in their time of need is one of the most rewarding missions the military performs.”
Active-duty Army helicopters and crews from Fort Carson, Colo., have been called to support evacuation efforts under an immediate response authority.
More than 375 Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, along with high-mobility vehicles and helicopters, are continuing to assist local authorities in search-and-rescue operations, evacuations and security in in response to major floods.
As of 6 p.m., Sept. 13, Colorado Guardsmen have helped evacuate more than 550 civilians by ground and air.
For Assignment Editors: For the most up-to-date information about the Colorado National Guard’s response to flooding, follow @CONG1860, #coflood and #COWX on Twitter or visit the Colorado National Guard website at http://co.ng.mil.
Brig. Gen. Peter J. Byrne bio: http://bit.ly/15dZhL4
B-roll and photos from Colorado floods: http://bit.ly/1bfy0zV
Flood-response photos: http://bit.ly/1bfxBO0
Joint Task Force-Centennial: http://bit.ly/14znsH4
Additional fact sheets, file photos and other supporting information are available at: http://bit.ly/1dI0oXR
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