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Chopper evacuates military personnel from RMNP

Posted: 11:39 AM, Jun 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-04 01:42:14Z
10 military personnel missing on Long's Peak
10 military personnel missing on Long's Peak

A helicopter evacuated several military personnel from Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park Friday afternoon.

Officials with Rocky Mountain National Park stated they were notified late Thursday night that a group of 10 military personnel affiliated with Fort Carson were requesting assistance on Kiener’s Route on Longs Peak. 

The group was involved in a climbing training, RMNP officials said in a statement issued at 12:15 p.m.

"A few members reported having some degree of distress and were having difficulty continuing up the route," according to the statement from RMNP. "The group was not planning to over-night in the area."

Rocky Mountain National Park Public Affairs Officer Kyle Patterson stated:

"Park rangers are planning evacuation efforts from the summit of Longs Peak via helicopter, weather and conditions permitting. Rangers are also planning to assist the group to the summit, if needed.  There are forty-three park personnel affiliated with this incident.  Helicopter operations have taken place within the last hour to help with reconnaissance efforts."

Lt. Colonel Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the 10th Special Forces Group based at Fort Carson, confirmed this is a Green Beret unit.

Ryan said two members of the group got altitude sickness. He stressed that no one is missing and that altitude sickness can be a factor in mountain training.

“No one is lost, missing or injured,” said Ryan. “It’s typical for what happens in Colorado mountain training.”

The MMA328 is Colorado’s Multi-Mission Aircraft, according to FireAviation.com .

According to WildfireToday.com , the aircraft is a Pilatus PC-12 and is based in Centennial.

(PHOTO: File photo of Colorado Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) 328SF, via Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting)

About 60 people have died at Longs Peak since Rocky Mountain National Park first opened in 1915, according to Kyle Patterson, a Rocky Mountain National Park spokeswoman.

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