Idaho Army National Guard
The Idaho Army National Guard is headquartered in the state's capital, Boise. Affiliated units are dispersed throughout the state in 28 diverse communities. Idaho's citizen soldiers have a long and honorable history dating back to the Nez Perce Indian Wars of 1877. Today, over 3,500 soldiers make up Idaho's Army National Guard.
The 116th Cavalry Brigade, one of only 15 Heavy Separate Brigades in the country, is the state's largest unit. It consists of two armor battalions (one located in eastern Oregon), a Combat Engineer Battalion, a Field Artillery Battalion, and a Support Battalion. The 116th fields the most modern equipment in the Army inventory and serves as a model for other National Guard units.
The 1st Battalion, 183rd Aviation serves as the air component of the Idaho Army National Guard. Armed with AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and UH-60 Blackhawk utility aircraft, the 183rd was one of the highest scoring Army National Guard aviation units to become combat certified at Fort Hood, Texas. Headquartered at Gowen Field in Boise, the battalion continues to set the pace for Army National Guard aviation units across the country.
The Idaho Army National Guard changed its focus of training in FY99. Idaho's 116th Calvary Brigade returned from a rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, CA to concentrate on individual and platoon level tasks. Large numbers of the Brigade's soldiers attended school at Army posts across the nation to enhance their leadership and specialty skills.
Three key events in the 116th Calvary Brigade's training year were the Canadian Total Ram Live Fire Exercise, Annual Training and the Brigade Command and Battle Staff Training Program. The 1-183rd Attack Aviation Battalion concentrated on individual, platoon and company level training during FY99 as well. Three IDT aerial gunneries were successfully completed, allowing the Battalion to concentrate on a deployment for a 10-day live fire exercise. The 938th Fire Fighting Detachment and 115th Public Affairs Detachment deployed to Bosnia in support of peacekeeping operations.
IDARNG members remained active in their communities by supporting projects aimed at community youth such as Burgers for Bikes, Bikes for Kids, Paint the Town, Operation G.U.A.R.D., community school mentoring, and anti-drinking and driving campaigns. The IDARNG also worked with the Bureau of Disaster Services and other emergency management agencies to prepare for natural and manmade disasters.
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