National Guard mission at US 36 complete

  • Published
  • By Colorado National Guard Public Affairs
  • Colorado National Guard
National Guard members from four states, under the direction of the Colorado Department of Transportation, have completed their portion of repairs to a 25-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 36 between Lyons, Colo., and Estes Park, Colo.

Because of the large scope of the project, National Guard engineering units from Colorado, Utah, Montana and Kansas assisted in the project.

The National Guard worked on 18 different project sites along the highway. All 18 sites are complete with final details like paving, guardrails and striping being completed by CDOT.

The original scope of this project was to create 24-foot, two-lane unpaved causeway scheduled for completion Dec. 1. Between the combined efforts of the National Guard and CDOT, this project was completed almost a month early.

"Returning access to our communities is so rewarding," said Brig. Gen. Peter Byrne, commander of the Colorado National Guard's Joint Task Force-Centennial. "This effort has been a hallmark of partnership, from the direction of CDOT, to the cooperation of our neighboring states that provided additional National Guard engineers. I am so proud of my team and our partners, but mostly of the resilience of our Colorado communities."

Since work began on this project in September, the multi-state, National Guard team has worked 11,454 man hours, placed 320 feet of culvert, removed 1,155 feet of guardrail and hauled more than 16,585 cubic yards of fill material.

Flood support by the numbers:

The National Guard provided more than 11,000 man-days for the combined flood response and relief efforts.

Evacuation totals:

During the Colorado flooding, the military members provided aviation support, ground search and rescue, traffic control points, engineering support, and many other services to affected communities.

A total of 3,233 people and an estimated 1,300 pets were evacuated by either military aircraft or military vehicles.

At the peak of flood evacuation operations, more than 750 troops, along with 21 helicopters, 200 military vehicles, 20 ground search-and-rescue teams, and 67 traffic-control points operated in support of lifesaving and protection efforts.

Aviation evacuation totals:

Helicopters and crews evacuated a total of 2,526 people - 83 by hoist - and 1,047 pets who were in immediate danger or cut off because of impassable roads in Boulder County, Larimer County and Weld County.

Aviators transported 48.3 tons of cargo, including critical food, water and clothing; as well as transportation and engineering supplies.

The Colorado National Guard provided nine helicopters and crews from the 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation at Buckley Air Force base in Aurora, Colo., and the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training site in Gypsum, Colo.

The Wyoming National Guard provided five helicopters and crews from the 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment in Cheyenne, Wyo.

The U.S. Army provided seven helicopters and crews from the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Ground evacuation totals:

A total of 285 Colorado Notional Guard Soldiers and Airmen were assigned to ground search-and-rescue efforts. There were a total of 23 GSAR teams; a GSAR team consisted of three Light Medium Tactical vehicles and six Guardsmen.

Colorado National Guardsmen evacuated a cumulative 707 people and an estimated 300 pets by ground search-and-rescue efforts.

GSAR teams assisted local authorities in Boulder County (including the major effort in Lyons, Colo.), Weld County and Larimer County.

Colorado National Guardsmen filled, moved and stacked more than 12,000 sandbags in Jefferson County to help civil authorities mitigate flooding in affected areas.

Security totals:

At the peak of operations, Colorado National Guard members manned 67 checkpoints in Boulder County, Larimer County and Weld County. They assisted local authorities to ensure public safety and to protect property of those displaced by the floods.

More than 590 Soldiers and Airmen worked side-by-side with local authorities at traffic-control points and roving patrols in affected areas.