The injuries were simulations, but the exercise deadly serious. More than 50 agencies planned for more than a year to coordinate the mass casualty exercise May 15. The event began with a simulated Air Force plane crash near Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colo., and was followed by a terrorist bombing of a wedding on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. When local first responders arrived at the scene of the bombing, a second terrorist attack took them out. With those agencies overwhelmed, other assets were needed.
The Colorado National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation provided two UH-60 Black Hawks and one CH-47 Chinook - along with appropriate flight crews and flight operations support - to transport the simulated civilian casualties to Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora.