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NEWS | Aug. 6, 2021

Colorado National Guard to honor fallen warrior with helicopter flyover of Fort Collins

By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021

CONTACT: Colorado National Guard Public Affairs, 720-250-1053,

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The Colorado Army National Guard will conduct a 3-ship CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter flyover of Fort Collins, Colorado, Aug. 6, 2021, in remembrance of U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 David R. Carter, a Colorado Guardsman killed in action Aug. 6, 2011, near Kabul, Afghanistan.

Family, friends, and colleagues will gather to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Carter’s death and his nearly 28 years of military service at his grave site at the Grandview Cemetery, Fort Collins, Colorado, Aug. 6, 2021.

Carter was co-piloting a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, when it was shot down by Taliban fighters killing all 38 occupants, including 30 Americans—the single greatest loss of American lives during the Afghan War.

“Our fallen hero Chief Warrant Officer Dave Carter was an exemplary Soldier and helicopter pilot,” The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan said.  “In the true spirit of a Colorado National Guardsman, he was always the first to volunteer.”

An instructor pilot at the High-Altitude Army National Guard Training Site in Gypsum, Colorado, Carter was one of the most experienced pilots in the U.S. Army, having amassed more than 4,500 flight hours with nearly 25 percent during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also supported numerous state missions.  These included dozens of search and rescue missions in the Rocky Mountains, several crashed aircraft recoveries, support to wildland firefighting operations, and a statewide manhunt in support of law enforcement. 

He also volunteered for the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Gustav emergency responses.

Carter served a tour in Iraq during the “Surge” of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2007, gaining valuable experience conducting operations with Special Operations units. 

He was killed during his second combat tour with the 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation, COARNG, based at Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.

He is survived by his wife and two children.