Idaho Air Guard troops deploy to Middle East
More than 200 men and women in the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing will return to Boise Sunday night, the Guard announced Friday.
The Guardsmen have been deployed in the Middle East, based at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, as part of the Idaho Guard’s first major deployment in the fight against the Islamic State.
The biggest group of troops left Boise in April. But others continued to deploy in subsequent months, with more than 500 Idaho Air Guard members expected to travel overseas at some point.
The troops returning Sunday are again, just a part of the deployment, and the last Idaho Guardsmen won’t be back home until March, a Guard spokeswoman said Friday.
Heightened security concerns and the different nature of the enemy this time — a militant group with roots in al-Qaida as opposed to the sitting government of Iraq — meant the Idaho Guard released far fewer details about this deployment compared to other missions over the past 15 years.
But occasional updates have surfaced. In July, the Guard was willing to confirm all members at the Turkish air base were safe following an attempted coup in that country. Several Turkish military leaders at Incirlik were arrested during the coup, and power to the base was cut off.