Wyoming National Guard Assists Colorado Airlift Mission

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2007 – The Wyoming National Guard is deploying an air crew today to airlift hay to livestock stranded by last week’s blizzard in Colorado.

One C-130H3 was scheduled to take off for Colorado today at 1 p.m. Mountain time to assist in the recovery efforts, said Deidre Forster, public affairs officer for the Wyoming military department. The plane will give more capability to the Colorado National Guard, which has been using helicopters to airlift supplies, she said.

“We can drop a lot more hay with a C-130 than they can drop with a helicopter,” Forster said.

The latest storm, which hit Dec. 28, dumped up to 28 inches of snow in some parts of Colorado. It was preceded by a storm Dec. 20 that blanketed the state with more than two feet of snow and closed Denver International Airport for two and a half days.

Eight National Guard helicopters were deployed to deliver food to livestock stranded by the deep snow. The helicopters also dropped military rations outside remote houses, where residents are stranded, and used Humvees and snowmobiles to deliver food, water and medicine to people in need.

The Oklahoma National Guard is also providing an air crew and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter to transport supplies to people and livestock stranded in Colorado.