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More than 200 from Colorado Air National Guard off to Europe for training

By: THE GAZETTE
August 7, 2016 Updated: August 7, 2016 at 6:57 am
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Air National Guard to train in Hungary

More than 200 Colorado Air National Guard airmen have headed to Europe for a training exercise.

The troops from the 140th Fighter Wing at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora headed to Hungary with eight F-16 fighters late last month, the Guard announced.

"The overall mission of the 140th Wing and the 120th Fighter Squadron being deployed to Hungary is for our flying training deployment, which is a training we do on an annual basis," wing commander Col. Floyd Dunstan said in a statement. "We had an opportunity to come over here and support the European Reassurance Initiative and do some flying with the Hungarian Air Force and also be able to support Joint Terminal Attack Controller training for the Hungarian and Slovenian armed forces."

Training exercises in Europe have ramped up amid rising tension with Russia over its occupation of parts of Ukraine. A brigade of soldiers from Fort Carson is set to head to Europe next year on a training deployment.

While much of the Buckley wing is overseas, they have left enough people and planes behind to continue a mission.

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Sculptures honor airmen killed in WWII

A dozen sculptures unveiled Saturday at the Wings over The Rockies museum in Denver honor airmen killed during World War II.

The exhibit entitled "Lest we forget: The Mission" showcases the work of Longmont artist and World War II fighter pilot Maj. Fredric Arnold.

"Maj. Arnold's story is one of bravery, dedication and commitment as he and one other were the lone survivors of their P-38 fighter pilot class during their 50 mission tour of North Africa," museum spokesman Ben Theune said in an email. "Major Arnold made a commitment to honor these men and at the age of 90 began the incredible process of sculpting 12 life-size figures each with a story and representing one of his fallen comrades, as well as the 88,000 American Airmen that died in World War II."

The sculptures will be on display at the museum through January. For information, visit wingsmuseum.org.

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Cripple Creek biker rally salutes vets

Thousands of bikers will roar into Cripple Creek starting Aug. 19 for the annual Salute to American Veterans Rally.

The event draws motorcycle enthusiasts from around the nation for a three-day gathering that includes a Saturday ceremony to honor prisoners of war and troops who remain missing.

On Aug. 20, an event known as the state's largest motorcycle parade will take riders from Woodland Park High School to Cripple Creek. The ride is expected to conclude by about noon.

For information, visit www.theveteransrally.org.

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