Saturday, September 26, 2020

Dozen A-10 aircraft and hundreds of Idaho guardsman head to Southwest Asia

The Idaho Air National Guard recently sent one of biggest deployments in State’s history, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As nearly a dozen A-10 Thunderbolt II Aircraft from the 124th Fighter Wing based at Gowen Field departed for Southwest Asia in support of combat operations.

“This is what our people signed up for and they are excited for the opportunity to answer the nation’s call,” said 124th Operations Group Commander Col. Matt McGarry, according to a news release. “This aircraft is built for supporting troops on the ground, whether that be Army or Marines in contact with the enemy, or protecting downed Airmen; we are primarily driven to an air-ground purpose.”

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More than 400 troops will be deployed to various location in southwest Asia for up to 180 days, marking the second largest deployment in the wing’s history.

According to a recent service news release, members of the 124th Fighter Wing and the 190th Fighter Squadron, based at Gowen Field, will continue to deploy throughout the spring and summer in support of Operations Freedom’s Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

Photo by Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur

KLEW previously reported that Governor Little paid a visit to Gowen Field and addressed these men and women as they prepared to deploy.

“It means a lot to our airmen, he’s our commander-chief and to send our airmen off this morning was outstanding,” said Colonel Smith.

Now they’re off to serve and provide air support in several areas throughout southwest Asia.

“We have only so many airplanes, but all of those airmen, every single one of those airmen has a line and is attached to the mission,” he said. “It takes every single one of them to make it happen.”

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Executive Editor

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