Idaho National Guard

Idaho National Guard

This story was updated Nov. 7 at 12:00 p.m.

The Idaho National Guard has identified the two soldiers who were killed Thursday near Gowen Field when their Apache helicopter crashed.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stien P. Gearheart, 50, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jon L. Hartway, 43, were killed when the helicopter they were piloting crashed during night training. Gearheart was from Meridian, Hartway was from Kuna. 

The Guard says both men were part of the 1-183rd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion based in Boise.

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Idaho Senator Mike Crapo spoke to reporters at length Wednesday on the importance of reducing government spending, at the same time he spoke about keeping a program that Air Force leaders want to phase out in order to save $3.5 billion.

Crapo, a Republican, has joined Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, and others to push legislation that would block the Air Force from retiring the A-10 fighter jet.

Idaho National Guard

Most Idaho National Guard members furloughed due to the government shutdown will return to work this week.

Col. Tim Marsano in a statement on Sunday says some members will return to work Monday, and most will return on Tuesday.

The move comes after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nearly all 350,000 furloughed Defense Department civilian employees back on the job.

Hagel says he based his decision on a Pentagon interpretation of a law called the Pay Our Military Act, which was passed shortly before the partial government shutdown began.

U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The partial shutdown of the federal government will have a direct effect on some services in Idaho, with campgrounds on federal lands closing, 850 Idaho National Guard employees furloughed and a program that helps cover food costs for impoverished pregnant women and small children threatened.

Idaho has nearly 12,000 federal employees.

More than 800 Idaho National Guard employees will start taking furlough days mandated by federal budget cuts.

Idaho National Guard spokesman Col. Tim Marsano says about 860 full-time employees will have one unpaid day off each week between now and the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30. Marsano says the federal budget cuts affect 860 military technicians and civilian workers.

The federal budget cuts took effect when Congress failed to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan.

Master Sgt. Adonis Jones / Idaho Army National Guard

Nearly 60 Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers returned to the U.S. late Saturday night after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan. They’re charter flight took them to Ft. Hood, Texas where they were greeted by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho Adjutant General Gary L. Sayler, and Command Sgt. Major Kenneth Downing. 

Boise National Forest

Officials on the Trinity Ridge Fire are about to get some help from the Idaho National Guard. The Guard has been activated to help with Idaho wildfires because of a  disaster declaration issued by Governor Butch Otter.  The Idaho Emergency Operations Center is sending Guard members to the fire which is near Pine and Featherville.

Eighty National Guard members will staff 20 checkpoints in the area, 24 hours a day.  The teams will consist of both airmen and soldiers from various Idaho Army and Air Guard units.  They should take over the checkpoints on Sunday.

Idaho National Guard

Idaho Citizen Soldiers are preparing for a year-long deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  The Army National Guard’s Company A, 1-168 General Services Aviation Battalion will head first to Fort Hood, Texas for training.  Then the soldiers will travel to Afghanistan for ten months.