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NEWS | Feb. 26, 2020

Accomplished Colorado Army National Guard aviation unit home from Afghanistan

By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

FOR RELEASE: Wed, Feb. 26, 2020

CONTACT: CONG Public Affairs Office, 720-250-1053, ng.co.coarng.list.militarysupport@mail.mil

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The Colorado National Guard will welcome home about 50 Soldiers from Detachment 1, Company B, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment and Company D, Forward, 2- 135th, after a year-long mission in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan, Feb. 27, 2020, at 3 p.m., at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.

While deployed, the unit conducted more than 1200 missions including 450 air assaults, 250 maintenance test flights and over 500 other missions which included battlefield circulation (transportation of personnel) and transport of over 500,000 pounds of equipment.

“During their deployment, these Colorado National Guard aviators upheld a long, proud history of dependable support for our warfighters,” The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Loh said.  “They are the best of the best.”

Air assaults by coalition and Afghan Special Forces disrupted enemy networks, killed or captured high value targets throughout the Task Force’s areas of operation.

Battlefield circulation efforts helped to provide security forces with the opportunities to meet with Afghan leaders and conduct meetings with regard to the welfare and support of Afghanistan and Coalition Forces throughout the region.

Maintenance test flights ensured aircraft were always ready to support deliberate and general support operations.

The 2-135th first came to the COARNG in the mid-1970s as Company D, 40th Aviation (Attack). In 1993, Colorado Army aviation changed from the attack role to the light utility helicopter.

Today, the 2-135th primarily operates the CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. The unit consists of eight companies: a headquarters element, four flight companies, one forward support company, one aviation unit maintenance company, and one aviation intermediate maintenance detachment.

The unit’s previous deployments included Iraq in 2007-2008, Afghanistan in 2010-2011, and Kuwait in 2015. During the 2011 mission, one of the unit’s members did not return home.  COARNG pilot U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Carter was killed in action during the Extortion 17 mission while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  The AASF on BAFB is named in his honor.

Watch this documentary to learn more about the 160-year history of the Colorado National Guard:

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