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Colo. Guard aircrews assisting in Black Forest fire relief efforts

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo -- Second Battalion 135th Aviation Regiment, the Army Aviation partner unit of Buckley Air Force Base, UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters stand ready assist in the extinguishing the Jefferson County Fire , Mar. 29, 2012.  During the operation the Army Aviation Unit dispensed more than 55,000 gallons of water in an area of 4,000 acres.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

Three Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are ready to provide assistance for the 2012 Colorado wildfires. The COANG is continuing this relationship by assisting authorities in fighting the 2013 Black Forest fire in El Paso County, Colo. (U.S. Air Force by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson/Released)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The Colorado Army National Guard and Fort Carson are currently assisting civil authorities with firefighting support at the Black Forest fire in El Paso County, Colo.

A total of four helicopters, one UH-60 Black Hawk from the Colorado Army National Guard and three helicopters from Fort Carson are helping to fight the fires.

One additional COARNG UH-72 Lakota helicopter is providing aerial reconnaissance on the fire and will be on standby for search and rescue.

Each Black Hawk Helicopter is equipped with a BamBi Bucket®, which is capable of carrying and delivering nearly 500 gallons of water at a time.

The Colorado Army National Guard is operating under immediate response authority to assist the El Paso County Sheriff's Department in fighting the Black Forest fire.

"We, as members of the National Guard, see it fit to always be available and ready to support those in need," said Adjutant General of Colorado Maj. Gen Mike Edwards, who commands the Colorado National Guard. "It's our highest priority to respond immediately in times of need. We are neighbors helping neighbors. That's why we serve."

The Colorado Army National Guard helicopters and crews launched from the Army Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., and are members of 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation.

The helicopters and crews from Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colo., are members of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade and launched from Butts Army Airfield on Fort Carson.

Colorado National Guard Citizen-Soldiers are always ready, always there to support civil authorities.

For more information about the fire operations, contact theEl Paso County Sheriff Public Information Officer at (719) 520-7244. For information about the Colorado National Guard, call 720-250-1053.
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