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Colorado National Guard opens state-of-the-art aviation hangar facility

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The strong ties between Army aviation and Native American traditions will be exemplified at our ribbon cutting ceremony for the new state-of-the-art construction project Dec. 15 on Buckley Air Force Base.

The ceremony will begin with a blessing by Burton Hutchinson, Sr., and former tribal chairman for the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Traditional Native American dancers of the Northern Arapaho, Eastern Shoshone, Ojibwa and Cree tribes will perform at the ceremony.

The Army has long held a tradition of naming aircraft after Native American tribes, chiefs and terms. The tradition predates any official doctrine, but Army Regulation 70-28, dated April 4, 1969 authorized the use of such names for public releases and other documents. The Indian names chosen were very popular among personnel for many years prior to the regulation.

Ground was broken July 9, 2005 for this roughly $30 million, 111,000 square feet project, which is capable of housing six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and four CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The project was completed in less than 550 days and includes both above and below ground storage.

Lt. Governor Jane Norton and Maj. Gen. Mason Whitney, the Adjutant General of Colorado, are expected to speak. Invitees also include Senator Ken Salazar; Senator Wayne Allard; Congressman Bob Beauprez; Maj. Paul Crigler; Peter Allen; Maj. Mike Mishmash; Chief Warrant Officer Bob Fleming, National Guard Bureau; the CH2MHILL Design Team; PCL Constructors, Inc.; and representatives from the 460th Space Wing, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron and 140th Civil Engineer Squadron.

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