Military News

More National Guard soldiers to return from Afghanistan

More National Guard soldiers are scheduled to return to Gowen Field on Saturday after serving a year in Afghanistan, National Guard officials said.

Around 140 soldiers from the 1-183rd Aviation Battalion will return to Boise at 2 p.m. after an 18-month deployment that included six months training at Fort Hood, Texas, before leaving for Afghanistan in February 2006, officials said. The homecoming is open to the public.

Fifty members of the 1-183rd returned last weekend, and others are expected to come back to Boise soon. About 250 Idaho soldiers served in Afghanistan with the 1-183rd on a varied mission that included combat missions in Apache helicopters, troop and equipment transport and providing medical care to soldiers and Afghan civilians. It was one of the largest deployments for the Idaho National Guard since October 2001.

The soldiers served across Afghanistan, including Kabul, Kandahar and the former

al-Qaida stronghold of Khost province.

Some I-183rd soldiers saw heavy fighting from a resurgent Taliban, but no Idaho soldiers were killed during the mission.