NEWS | Sept. 1, 2021

Colorado National Guard salutes 9/11 heroes with F-16 flyover of Denver

By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs

FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021

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

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Warriors of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard will fly F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft over downtown Denver, Colorado, Sept. 1, 2021, at around 7:00 p.m., in support of the Colorado Remembers 9/11 20th anniversary commemoration at Empower Field at Mile High.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the Mizel Institute, and other partners are hosting the event which will honor service members and frontline workers.

“The Colorado National Guard is honored to pay tribute to all of our patriots who served and sacrificed in defense of freedom in response to the tragic events of 9/11,” The Adjutant General of Colorado U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Laura Clellan said.  “This flyover also demonstrates that we are Always Ready, Always There to guard our nation from the ground, air and space against terrorist attacks.”

Hours after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, hundreds of Colorado Soldiers and Airmen were activated to guard our skies and sensitive sites across the state. Dedicated F-16 fighter aircrews, like the ones supporting this event, patrolled the skies in support of Operation Noble Eagle.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the National Guard transformed from a strategic reserve into an operational force.

During the past 20 years, thousands of Colorado National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed in support of the Combatant Commands.  Every deployable unit in the Colorado Guard has been mobilized, some more than once.  Five CONG Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice during overseas contingency operations.

On the home front, after 9/11, our warriors gained three new federal missions guarding our nation round-the-clock in the air and space domains.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Joint Force Headquarters-Colorado was established in Centennial, Colorado, to support federal and state missions. 

National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Enhanced Response Forces and critical infrastructure, cyber protection, and joint incident site communications teams, so critical to our domestic response operations in Colorado, came into being.

The CONG also formed a strategic state partnership with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 2004 that has promoted peace and security throughout the region and the world.

The 140th Wing will launch the jets from Buckley Space Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.

Flyovers are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training for our pilots.