Gowen Field

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho National Guard said goodbye to the last of its Apache helicopters during a ceremony at Gowen Field Thursday morning. The change is due to a national initiative to transfer a portion of the fleet to the Army.

Four hundred Idaho personnel work with Apaches. According to Major Chris Borders, a Guard spokesman, about 385 of those Guard members will be trained to work on Black Hawk helicopters. He says the remaining 15 worked on aspects of the Apache that don't transfer to the Black Hawks, but those personnel will be given other opportunities to transfer.

Members of the Idaho Air National Guard are preparing to deploy to the Middle East this summer.

The Idaho Statesman reports officials announced Monday that more than 500 members of the 124th Fighter Wing based at Gowen Field will depart as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

This will be the Idaho Guard's first major deployment in the U.S.'s fight against the Islamic State group.

Deployments typically last up to 180 days, with multiple departures spread out over several months.

Department of Defense

Monday morning, a squadron of the Idaho Army National Guard is in the desert south of Boise for a live-fire training exercise. The soldiers are preparing for a special trip to California, to the Army’s most sought-after training experience.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

During a two-day visit to Idaho, U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James met with Idaho's congressional and state leadership about the future of the A-10 fighter jet.

The aircraft – which has supported combat ground missions in Afghanistan and elsewhere since the 1970s – is the sole mission of the Idaho Air National Guard at Boise's Gowen Field. The Air Force has slated the A-10 to be replaced by the F-35, a more multi-purpose military plane that will cut costs.

U.S. Air Force / Flickr Creative Commons

On Thursday, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James will visit the home of the Idaho Air National Guard at Boise's Gowen Field. James will meet with Idaho’s congressional delegation in the morning, as well as Boise’s mayor and local business leaders. But we don’t know if she’ll make any announcements about the future of the Idaho Air National Guard.

That future is uncertain because of two money-saving ideas from the Pentagon.

The Idaho Military Museum is back open for business after being closed since October 2013.  

The museum started at Gowen Field in the late 1980s and eventually moved off base into a nearby warehouse. 

The 391st Combat Engineer Company will be welcomed home Saturday at Gowen Field.  98 Idahoans are part of the unit, most of them from the Treasure Valley.  The Army Reserve Soldiers recently came home from their second tour of duty in Iraq.  The “Welcome Home Warrior Citizen” ceremony is for soldiers and their family members. 

Each soldier gets a label pin set, a commemorative coin, and an encased U. S. flag.