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Colorado aviation company to be decorated for combat missions in Iraq

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Members of the Colorado Army National Guard's Company A, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation, returned from a 15-month deployment to Iraq Nov. 1. 

They will receive awards at a ceremony Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Army Aviation Support Facility on Buckley Air Force Base.

The Soldiers provided extensive aviation support to Operation Iraqi Freedom, including transporting equipment, personnel and wounded troops.

This was the first combat deployment for a Colorado Army National Guard aviation unit.

During the deployment, the company flew 525 missions consisting of 5,800 accident free hours, moved thousands of troops and multiple visiting dignitaries, transported thousands of pounds of equipment on the battlefield, flew numerous air assault missions, and maintained an 81 percent rate of operational readiness for eight aircraft.