Some 200 Colorado Air National Guardsmen and National Guard soldiers are now assisting local authorities in the midst of severe flooding in parts of the state due to heavy rains. The Guard members are using helicopters and high-mobility vehicles to assist in search-and-rescue operations and delivering supplies, according to a Sept. 13 National Guard Bureau release. They are also controlling vehicle traffic on roads in and around the affected areas. “Supporting our neighbors in their time of need is one of the most rewarding missions the military has to offer, said Maj. Gen. Michael Edwards, Colorado’s adjutant general. CBS News reported on Sept. 15 that rescuers had already brought to safety some 1,750 persons from communities overtaken by the flood waters. The airmen and soldiers are assigned to Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, the Windsor Readiness Center, and armories in Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins, according to the Guard release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.