National Guard exercise could slow Interstate 25 traffic from Colorado Springs to Denver this week

July 22, 2013 Updated: July 22, 2013 at 9:40 am
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The Colorado National Guard will conduct its 2013 Vigilant Guard Exercise, a large-scale and multi-agency emergency response exercise, from Monday to Thursday in the Colorado Springs and Denver metropolitan areas.

The exercise will officially take off in Colorado Springs on Tuesday and will be focused on interagency coordination in preparation for domestic agencies and catastrophic events.

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced the exercise will cover areas of Interstate 25 from Denver to Colorado Springs, causing slight traffic delays in some areas.

Tuesday's exercises will include a mock plane crash and a search-and-rescue mission hosted by the U.S. Air Force Academy Fire Department at its training area, the National Guard's public affairs division said.

Military and civilian first responders, along with K-9s, will be transported to a remote location by National Guard helicopters, where a search-and-rescue mission involving a simulated crashed aircraft will take place.

Army National Guard helicopters and Fort Carson firefighters will conduct water drop training operations at Fort Carson, emphasizing air-ground communications.

The weeklong exercise has been planned since 2011 and is based on a wildland fire with urban interface, including severe weather conditions, public affairs said.

National Guard units from Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will participate.

For more information, visit the Colorado National Guard website, http://co.ng.mil.

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