Colorado National Guard supports civil authorities with aerial water bucket operations at Black Bridge Fire

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The Colorado National Guard is supporting Bent County fire suppression efforts near Las Animas, Colorado, at the request of local authorities.

The two Colorado Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and eight crew members from 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion 135th Aviation Regiment were already participating in annual wildfire bucket training.

"Our Colorado National Guard members are on scene supporting local responders to suppress a growing wildfire," Director of the Joint Staff U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Gregory White said. "We are here to help save lives, minimize suffering, and protect property in this Colorado community."

The COARNG helicopter crews were training with the Colorado Fire Prevention and Control and the U.S. Forest Service and local partners when the teams were requested and diverted to support civil authorities with real-world firefighting efforts at the Black Bridge Fire.

The helicopters and crews, equipped with aerial water buckets, are from the Chief Warrant Officer 5 David R. Carter Army Aviation Support Facility based at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado.

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