Colorado Governor Jared Polis has activated the Colorado National Guard to support potential rescue requests from the state and local jurisdictions to save stranded motorists in Colorado during winter storm Wesley, the second bomb cyclone to hit the state during 2019.
About 50 Soldiers are responding from multiple units along the Front Range, including four small-unit support vehicle teams.
"The Colorado National Guard can get anywhere where we're needed with our tracked and high-wheeled vehicles," Joint Task Force-Centennial Commander U.S. Army Col. Scott Sherman said."The Colorado Guard is always ready, always there to assist our neighbors to save lives, prevent suffering, and mitigate great property damage."
Colorado National Guard forces are pre-positioning ground search and rescues teams at readiness centers from Longmont to Colorado Springs.
The guard will employ about 24 vehicles, including Light Medium Tactical Vehicles, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks, and Small Unit Support vehicles, for this blizzard response.
The SUSV is a fully-tracked, articulated vehicle designed to operate off road in a variety of conditions and environments. These specialized vehicles are most often used to evacuate people trapped in winter storms.
The vehicles are a federally funded resource used to transport Special Forces units and mountain infantry Soldiers during winter survival training. They also double for state emergency response missions.