BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., (7/23/09) -- Colorado's 2nd Battalion 135th Aviation Regiment, known as the "Blackjacks," was recently appointed by the Secretary of Defense to be the Aviation Task Force for the continental United States, which will support Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosive (CBRNe) Consequence Management Reaction Force (CCMRF) teams around the country.
The COARNG's aviation unit is the first Guard unit to be given this responsibility, which has only been assigned to active duty U.S. Army units in the past.
"This shows incredible confidence in the 'Blackjacks' for the SECDEF to choose us as the first National Guard or Reserve unit to receive this mission," said Army Capt. Thomas Wyant, a planning officer for the 2/135th.
The Aviation Task Force is responsible for responding to situations such as chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological or high explosive emergencies that result due to natural disasters, accidental incidents or terrorist attacks.
The Colorado CCMRF will test their capabilities to effectively respond to national emergencies during the National Emergency Response Exercise by launching UH-60 Black hawks and CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the Army Aviation Support Facility here today.
The Aviation Task Force will respond to simulated events throughout Colorado to validate its responsibility as a CCMRF support element. The expected landing sites during the training missions will be at the Pepsi Center, Presbyterian Saint Luke Medical Center and Denver Health Medical Center in Denver Colo., the Fitzsimons Medical Complex in Aurora, Colo., Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, Colo., the World Arena and Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Pueblo chemical depot in Pueblo, Colo.
The task force will also respond to emergencies at the Boulder Municipal Airport in Boulder, Colo., Ft. Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport in Ft. Collins, Colo., Front Range Airport in Watkins, Colo., Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, Colo., and Pueblo Memorial Airport in Pueblo, Colo.
Members from other state CCMRF teams will participate in this national exercise. The Colorado Guard's participation will be led by the Department of Defense-appointed Aviation Task Force.