By Crystal Farris/Idaho Military Division Public Affairs
Maj. Christopher Lavelle and his younger sister, Master Sgt. Kerry Lavelle, are known on Gowen Field as “the Lavelles.” They have served on base as full-time technicians for several years and as traditional Guardsmen in the Idaho National Guard for nearly 20 years.
“It’s been fun serving in the military at the same time as my family,” said Christopher. “It seemed at one point that everyone on base knew who we were. They would see Kerry when she used to work in security forces at the front gate and they would see me for computer problems at the communications office.”
Joining the Guard was not something they planned to do together but was something they both ended up doing to pay for school. Coming from a family with four other siblings, Christopher said his dad could not afford to send them all to college. Serving in the military was a way to receive education assistance.
“Kerry and I weren’t confident in what we wanted to do in our lives or how long we would stay in the military,” he said. “We both ended up serving almost 20 years and having successful careers within the Guard.”
“I joined to pay for school, but I chose the Air Guard because my brother was in the Army Guard,” Kerry said. “I couldn’t join the same branch as him; I had to do something different.”
Christopher enlisted into the Idaho Army National Guard in June 2000 as a signal operations specialist after graduating from high school in Boise. A year later, Kerry graduated from the same high school and enlisted into the Idaho Air National Guard as a security forces Airman.
After returning from training at Fort Benning, Georgia, Christopher deployed to Bosnia with the 183rd Aviation Regiment in 2002. He later joined the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team and deployed to Iraq in 2004. The next year, he reenlisted and started work as a full-time technician for the Idaho Army National Guard.
He served nine years as an enlisted Guardsman, became a sergeant, enrolled in officer candidate school and commissioned as a signal officer in 2008. The same year, Christopher earned bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and political science from Boise State University.
“It took a long time for me to finish school between two deployments,” said Christopher. “I reenlisted because I wasn’t done with what I started and wanted to complete school. I later decided that if I was going to stay in, I wanted to commission.”
Kerry and her younger sister, Caitlin, who also served in the Idaho Army National Guard from 2004 to 2011, attended Christopher’s commissioning ceremony on Gowen Field.
“We were really proud of him,” Kerry said. “We both raced to the stage wanting to be the first to salute him, but Caitlin pulled off my hat to slow me down and ended up winning.”
In 2010, Christopher deployed again to Iraq as a platoon leader with the 148th Field Artillery Battalion. Since returning, he has served in various positions in the Guard, including company commander and signal officer for both a battalion and brigade staff.
He now works as a full-time technician and data processing manager for the United States Property and Fiscal Office and serves part time as a traditional Guardsman and the staff communications officer for Joint Force Headquarters-Idaho.
When Kerry went to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for basic military training in 2002, Christopher stayed in touch through letters.
“I remember my brother sent me postcards and pictures,” Kerry recalled. “He was in Salt Lake doing security for the Olympics and sent me a picture of him standing on his bunk with the bed all messed up. He joked, ‘How is basic training going? Good thing you are learning how to make a bed.'”
Kerry returned home in June 2002 and was activated, along with most of the 124th Security Forces Squadron, to provide increased security on Gowen Field after 9/11. She attended school and served intermittently on active duty orders as part of security forces on Gowen Field and Mountain Home Air Force Base until reenlisting in 2007.
“I decided last minute to stay in because the military was the one consistent thing in my life,” said Kerry. “I figured it would be a good decision, and it was.”
Kerry deployed to Saudi Arabia for six months with the 124th Security Forces Squadron in 2008. In 2010, she earned a social sciences degree in general studies from Boise State University and three years later left for Korea.
“I wanted to do something different just for a little while,” said Kerry. “I decided to travel to Korea and teach English for two years. It was fabulous. I also met my husband there, who laughs when I tell people he’s my favorite souvenir.”
Kerry returned home in 2015 and continued work in security forces until becoming the first sergeant for the wing’s logistics readiness squadron in 2018. That same year, she started a full-time job at the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2019, Kerry reenlisted for the second time in a ceremony on Gowen Field. Christopher read her oath of reenlistment.
“It was really cool that Christopher was able to reenlist me,” said Kerry. “It makes me laugh thinking about how I messed up the oath because he had given me too many words at one time to repeat from memory.”
Although the two siblings are only 15 months apart, Kerry said Christopher took on fatherly responsibilities at a young age while their father was sick and after he died in 2008.
“My brother has taken on a different role in our family to all of us as kind of a caretaker,” said Kerry. “I’m sure at some point, my dad pulled him aside and told him to look after his family.”
While their father was sick with cancer, Christopher said they had many heart-to-hearts, mostly about taking care of the family.
“He had a big concern for his family and wanted the best for his kids,” said Christopher. “Out of five of us, three joined the military and two are still in. My other sisters also work in public service, so I think we have all done really well, and I know my dad would be proud of us.”
Kerry works in employee labor relations at the VA’s human resources office. In December, she became the first sergeant for the 124th Fighter Wing staff.
Senior Airman Mayra Fomin was born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. at 4 years old. First living in California and then Nampa, Idaho, her parents raised her to speak both Spanish and English.
After joining the Idaho Air National Guard at age 27 in 2017, Fomin was surprised to have the opportunity three years later to put her Spanish to good use while responding to COVID-19 and serving her community of more than 80,000 Spanish-speaking Idahoans.
“I’ve only been in the National Guard for three years now and I never thought I would use my Spanish in this way,” said Fomin. “It has made me feel so happy to hear the comfort in their voices because they’re able to communicate with someone in their language.”
In December, Fomin was one of several hundred Idaho Guardsmen who volunteered to mobilize to district health centers, local hospitals, health care facilities and medical centers across the state after Gov. Brad Little activated the Idaho National Guard as COVID-19 cases increased.
Fomin said when she arrived at the Southwest District Health in Caldwell, staff there were excited to hear she spoke Spanish. As the only Spanish-speaking service member there, she was assigned to help investigate and monitor positive COVID-19 cases and translate information to the Spanish-speaking community.
“I’m Hispanic and I know for a fact that it’s very difficult for people in my community to understand what’s going on and get the right information out there,” said Fomin. “When the opportunity to volunteer came about, I thought it would be very rewarding to be able to communicate to not only the English-speaking individuals but the Spanish community as well.”
Fomin first joined the Guard looking for a way to serve her community as a traditional Airman. She later took a job as a full-time technician for the command support staff of the 124th Force Support Squadron.
“I thought I wouldn’t be able to volunteer for the mission because I’m a full-time employee,” said Fomin. “I was so excited when my commander gave me the opportunity because it enabled me to go out there and help Idaho however I could.”
It was a rewarding experience to be able to answer questions and concerns from Idahoans who were unable to communicate with them otherwise, especially while consoling members of the community that felt isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
Having gotten COVID-19 herself, Fomin said she was all too familiar with the feeling of isolation. Although she had to quarantine from her husband and three children during that time, she said it enabled her to speak from experience while comforting and reassuring individuals who also tested positive.
“Having COVID helped me personally relate to the community and it gave me the opportunity to reassure individuals that their symptoms and health would improve,” she said.
By Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur – Idaho Military Division Public Affairs
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Calif. – The Idaho National Guard’s 101st Civil Support Team was among several National Guard CSTs that participated in a large-scale exercise in Northern California Feb. 1-5.
The exercise, BAYEX 2021, tested the ability of Idaho, Oregon and Nevada CST teams to assist the California National Guard’s 95th CST while responding to training scenarios in the Bay Area involving weapons of mass destruction emergencies.
“This exercise gives us valuable training in our ability to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event,” said Lt. Col. Christina Taylor, commander of the 101st CST. “We have taken significant actions to ensure the 22 Soldiers and Airmen of the CST have the opportunity to continue to refine their skills in collective training exercises such as BAYEX.”
To initiate the exercise, biologically actionable results were simulated inside an abandoned military facility and a transit boat transporting people around the San Francisco Bay Area. The hazardous agent triggered phase one sampling, which resulted in federal agencies requesting support from the National Guard’s civil support teams. Civil support teams work closely with law enforcement and first responders, including the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and explosive ordnance disposal teams.
“It is important for every state’s governors and the nation to know that in the event of a small or large-scale emergency, the CST units are designed to respond and support local and federal civilian agencies,” said Taylor.
The Oregon National Guard’s 102nd and the Nevada National Guard’s 92nd CST also supported the California National Guard’s 95th CST training exercise.
“I truly enjoyed participating in this event,” said Staff Sgt. Troy McDonald, 101st CST survey team chief. “The exercise allowed our team to interact with other CST members and cross-train with each other, sharing best practices and procedures.”
Participating in large-scale exercises helps the 101st CST remain ready to respond to emergencies throughout Idaho and the nation. The unit supports civil authorities at domestic incident sites, which may involve areas affected by terrorism or natural disasters.
“It is vital to continue training for emergencies even as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues,” said Taylor. “It’s imperative that the Idaho National Guard civil support team remains trained and ready to respond at all times to our local community, as well as neighboring states, in the event of a large-scale real-world HAZMAT emergency.”
Idaho Military Division Public Affairs
(GOWEN FIELD) — The Idaho National Guard will send approximately 300 Soldiers and Airmen to Washington, D.C. in the coming days to assist district and federal agencies with the presidential inauguration. These Guardsmen will augment the Washington D.C. National Guard and serve in support of the U.S. Secret Service, the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating the event.
Personnel will begin departing from Gowen Field in Boise less than 72 hours after Gov. Brad Little approved the mission. The Nation’s Guard response could include an estimated 25,000 Guard members from all states and territories.
“The National Guard has participated in every presidential inauguration in our nation’s history,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of Idaho. “It is an honor to be a part of the tradition of ensuring the peaceful and orderly transition of national power; an act that separates us from many other countries across the world.”
Guardsmen will travel to Washington, D.C. via military airlift and contracted aircraft with standard government-issued equipment to perform a number of potential tasks to include security, communications, medical, logistics, and safety support to district and federal agencies. Nearly half of the National Guard task force will conduct security-related duties to include traffic control or by assisting visitors to proper assembly locations as well as entry and exit points.
The Idaho National Guard has planned for more than a month to send roughly a dozen personnel to the region in support of the inauguration. The increase in personnel is part of a new request to provide additional Guard support and represents roughly six percent of the Idaho National Guard force.
This deployment does not involve Soldiers and Airmen already working in their communities as part of the COVID-19 response effort. The Idaho National Guard will continue to maintain its capacity to provide emergency response in Idaho, whether it be a COVID surge, civil unrest, natural disaster or other emergency response function.
The Idaho National Guard has deployed out of state in support of national emergencies in the past. From Hurricane Katrina in 2005, wildland fire suppression in Oregon and Washington in 2015, to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria recovery support in 2017, the Idaho National Guard has provided hundreds of Soldiers and Airmen over the last decade in response to national emergencies.
More recently, last summer the Idaho National Guard sent Soldiers and helicopters to fight California wildfires and more than 400 Soldiers to Washington, D.C. to assist with civil unrest response. Additionally, the Idaho National Guard continues to provide state emergency relief here at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur, Idaho Military Division Public Affairs
Sgt. Sarah Field put on the Army uniform for her first time when she enlisted in June 2010, and 10 years later, she puts on that uniform with a little more pride as she is now the Idaho Army National Guard’s first certified female 19D cavalry scout instructor at the 1st Battalion, 204th Regional Training Institute (Armor) at Gowen Field.
Although she grew up in Boise, Idaho, Field started her military career in the Utah National Guard, while she attended college at Utah State University. During her time in the Utah National Guard she served one combat tour in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as a chaplain assistant. Following her initial military training and deployment, Field graduated from USU in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation. After graduation, she transferred to the Idaho Army National Guard to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, to come back to her hometown.
In 2020, she transitioned into the combat arms, wanting to be a cavalry scout, with the seed planted in her mind of becoming a certified instructor. While assigned to the HHC, 2nd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, Field became a more experienced scout team member as a truck commander and Bradley gunner. On Dec. 4, Field became certified to instruct cavalry scouts in the Military Occupational Specialty – Reclassification course (MOS-R) and on Dec. 22, she became certified to instruct the Bradley Commander and Gunner Course (BCGC). Her next goal is to be certified as an instructor for the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC).
“Becoming a certified instructor can be a long process,” said Field. “First you must go through the specific class as a student, then shadow the class, and follow up by teaching specific lesson plans back to the instructors. Once you complete those steps you become a provisional instructor and teach the classes while you are being shadowed and evaluated. I am now certified in two of the three courses in just nine months.”
Field attended the MOS-R as a cavalry scout student in February 2020. She was the only female in the combat arms class of 12 students but she knew she had to get through the challenging course to be considered for an instructor position.
“The MOS-R course is demanding and extremely physically and mentally challenging,” said Field. “It starts off with a 12-mile ruck march, heavy physical demands testing, day and night land navigation and works up to the Gunnery Skills Testing. I was definitely nervous and afraid of failing, but I knew if I didn’t try then I would never know what I was capable of accomplishing in my career.”
The GST consists of testing on ammunition and vehicle identification, small and medium weapons systems and other Bradley platform specific tasks. Despite having little previous combat arms experience, Field went on to graduate the 19D MOS-R in March and the 19D BCGC and the 19D ALC in August, completing all of the courses the 19D instructors teach. She is now certified as the instructor for the two courses and is currently starting the process to be certified as the instructor for the 19D ALC.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity be the first female instructor here at the Regional Training Institute. I feel it is important to have diversity in the learning environment,” said Field. “We all have different experiences and can relate to others in different ways. I have been able to use my gifts and talents to enhance the ways I teach our curriculum at the schoolhouse, helping students overcome their own challenges and learn and grow as Soldiers.”
Businessmen Troy McClain and Bedros Keuilian support Idaho’s Youth ChalleNGe Academy with a big surprise
By Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur
PIERCE, Idaho – One of Idaho’s well-known reality TV show stars and businessman Troy McClain, joined forces with international businessman Bedros Keuilian who is widely known for his influential fitness brands as well as one of the largest health franchise entrepreneurs in the world today. Now, the Idaho National Guard knows him for his act of kindness on Nov. 6 by donating thousands of dollars’ worth of gym equipment to the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy.
McClain focuses on making positive changes in the lives of children around the globe. Today, he honed in locally to show his support to the Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy. Inspired by the Adjutant General of Idaho Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak’s passion for giving back to the IDYCA, McClain joined the cause. The IDYCA is a Department of Defense and IDNG collaborative program designed to give second chances to Idaho’s youth who are 16 to 18 years old, and who have either dropped out of high school or are at risk of doing so.
A month earlier, the IDNG invited McClain to visit the IDYCA. Garshak spoke passionately about his commitment to the Idaho program and his commitment to the cadets. During the visit, McClain asked both the students and faculty the question, “If you could have one thing to help support this program, what would that be?” He then repeated the same question to leadership of the IDNG.
McClain said he was awed by each response. In each answer they all simply asked to make the program better for the cadets who follow their footsteps. The cadets collectively identified the need for better fitness equipment; the faculty and staff requested more inspirational and motivational leaders who could engage with the cadets; and the IDNG leadership wanted more exposure for the IDYCA so the public can learn more about this program.
“Armed with my answers and inspired by the thoughtfulness for others I could only identify one single person who would be able to achieve all these requests in one,” said McClain. “I immediately called my good friend and businessman Bedros Keuilian. In such a time of crisis, I knew getting gym equipment; access to motivational speakers; and covering delivery costs would to be limited. I also knew the best way to get ahead is to give back and I absolutely knew Keuilian was the man to call. When I call on friends for help, I vow to ensure it wont be for myself and it will be for a cause that aligns with their values and propose in life.”
Keuilian was an immediate yes for donating the gym equipment and giving his time to visit the academy, and to meet and inspire the cadets. The equipment donated consists of new balance balls, battle ropes, box jumps, jump ropes, kettlebells, medicine balls, pull-up stations and weight-lifting sandbags. To top it all off, McClain and Keuilian created a team of motivated representatives and flew them to Pierce to spend the day with the cadets. Former Navy SEAL, CIA contractor and TV actor Ray “Cash” Care, and U.S. Marine Steve Eckert, were brought along to visit the cadets and instruct a special workout session designed to prove to the cadets that they can endure and overcome difficult challenges. By the end of the workout, each cadet successfully completed the rigorous tasks provided by Care and Eckert.
The IDYCA is administered by the Department of Defense and is a cooperative program between the Idaho Military Division and the National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe Program. The academy provides students the potential to earn up to a year’s worth of credits, to graduate from the program with a high school diploma or GED, or return to their respective high schools to graduate with their class.
For motivation, the cadets participated in an extremely challenging obstacle course to build resiliency and Keuilian delivered an inspirational speech about what he endured in his life to get to where he is today.
“I didn’t even make it through high school. What makes me think I could make it through college?” said Keuilian. “How could I own a fitness franchise and a software company? Because I have heart. I am driven and because I know my purpose.”
More than 30 U.S. states currently have a similar cooperative program. Idaho’s program has helped reshape the lives of more than 1,200 Idaho teens since welcoming its first class in January 2014. Each class is a 22-week program and is offered twice a year.
“The Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy’s mission to reclaim the lives of Idaho’s at-risk youth is one of my top priorities,” said Garshak. “The Idaho National Guard is so grateful that these amazing people were willing to donate their time and talent today to help our cadets realize their full potential.”
More than a dozen Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers participated in the National Guard’s Cyber Shield 20 exercise Sept 12-27. Members of Idaho’s Defense Cyber Operations Element were among nearly 600 Soldiers from more than 40 states who participated in the two-week training event.
The defensively focused tactical annual cyber exercise was hosted virtually this year and gave Idaho Soldiers the chance to develop and use their cyber defense skills while building key relationships with the state’s Office of Information Technology Services, its mission partner, during the exercise.
“We ensure the state understands our capabilities and that if called upon, we can respond within the legal bounds of cyber defense,” said Col. Dan Lister, IDARNG Chief Information Officer.
During the exercise, each team worked with a mission partner representing an industry partner. Teams assessed networks for vulnerabilities and assisted in recovery operations after a cyber incident.
“It sharpens the skills of our cyber-warriors, who hone their skills throughout the year and the come here ready to lock and load on their weapon systems, their computers,” said Maj. Eric Burgan, the team’s deputy team chief.
Teams spent the first week of the exercise training on cyber threat analysis, systems analysis, information control systems and information operations. The second week tested Soldiers’ skills while conducting cyber incident response and network defense operations.
In previous years, the exercise focused on a weeklong scenario held in person at a central location, but with teams spread out across the country to accommodate Covid-19 safety restrictions, exercises focused on two vignettes per day, which were designed to test specific skill sets.
Burgan said training alongside the state’s IT office allows the team to build trust at the top level that extends to Idaho’s local cities and counties. Across the nation, National Guard DCOEs work with public partners to asses vulnerabilities and help protect public networks.
Idaho’s DCOE stood up in 2016 with the intent to train with community partners and respond to any cyber emergencies within the state, similar to other emergency missions the Idaho National Guard performs.
Today, more than three dozen former Marine Reservists enlisted into the Idaho Army National Guard. Idaho’s newest Citizen-Soldiers all served in Company C, 4th Tank Battalion, which was deactivated in August as the Marines look to divest its armor battalions.
“Marines make excellent Soldiers,” Brig. Gen. Farin Schwartz, commander of the Idaho Army National Guard said. “They each have the potential to make an immediate impact to their new unit and have already proven to be successful in the military.”
New recruits can take six to eighteen months to train before they can reach their assigned unit and once there, must continue to train and learn their new job before they can fully contribute to their unit’s mission. Most of the Marines who transferred into the National Guard will have similar positions when possible, Schwartz said.
Marine 1st Sgt. Craig Wilcox said more than a third of the company’s Marines transferred into the Idaho Army National Guard for one of two reasons: to continue to serve their country locally or to continue to work on or in tanks. Company C operated the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank while the 116th Brigade Combat Team of the Idaho Army National Guard operates the updated M1A2 Sep v.
“I looked at all of my options and I knew I wanted to stay in Idaho because my family is here,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Dycus, one of the Marines who transitioned into the Idaho Army National Guard. “Initially, I wanted to stay within the tank community but decided to look for a more real-world option for my future and I chose the information technology field. I am looking at this from a positive aspect and I am thankful for this new opportunity. Change can often be a good thing.”
The majority of the Marines who enlisted into the Idaho Army National Guard are tankers, maintainers and other support individuals.
“We tried to match their Marine skill sets to an Army military occupational specialty as much as possible,” Schwartz said. “And we’ll continue to pay them special attention for the foreseeable future to ensure their transition is as smooth as possible.”
Wilcox said Marine Reservists were given the option of transferring to a new job and unit in the Marine Reserve, to transfer to a new branch or join the Individual Ready Reserve. An additional 10 Marines joined National Guard units in other states.
The number of Marines to transition into the Idaho Army National Guard increases the total strength of the organization by more than a percent.
In 2019 the Marines began divesting its tanks and reducing its artillery cannon battalions to focus on developing light mobility options to get around island chains with the assistance of unmanned systems and mobile anti-ship missiles. The efforts are part of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s plan to modernize the corps to become a lighter and faster force.
The Marines also plan to reduce its number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21, artillery cannon batteries from 21 to five and amphibious vehicle companies from six to four.
Locally, Wilcox said that a small number of Marines will remain on Gowen Field to maintain the Marines’ connection to the Treasure Valley until a decision is made regarding future units being assigned to Gowen Field. In the meantime, Marines will continue to engage in community relations events, host their annual Toys for Tots program and conduct funerals and honors for Idaho’s Marine veterans.
The Idaho National Guard sent three UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and nearly two-dozen personnel on Aug. 27 to assist in battling the California wildfires. Earlier in the week, the Idaho Army National Guard Aviation Group trained on the specialized bucket equipment unique to helicopters and designed specifically for aerial firefighting.
“California is currently requesting six Type-1 Firefighting Aircraft and we’re one of the only units currently available to fulfill that request,” said Col. Christopher Burt, Idaho Army National Guard state aviation officer. “We are trained, ready and eager to help our neighbors in California.”
The team from Idaho includes pilots and crew chiefs who make up the flight crews, along with essential maintenance and support personnel, as well as two flight paramedics augmenting California National Guard UH-60 MEDEVAC crews. They will work in cooperation with several other states as they battle the massive fires that have already consumed more than 1 million acres across the Golden State.
“Our UH-60s are three of nearly 80 civilian and military aircraft from around the nation supporting this crisis response,” said Capt. Eric Fitzpatrick, officer in charge of Idaho’s team. “Civilian aircraft are the primary effort but they have reached capacity so this is where the National Guard comes in: to help fellow citizens in need, whether back home in Idaho or around the country.”
While Idaho Army Aviation provides this support to the citizens of California, the Idaho National Guard as a whole continues to maintain its readiness to respond to fires, or any other emergencies here in Idaho, if called upon.
Article courtesy KIVI Channel 6
BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho National Guard has the capability to fly either their Black Hawk or Lakota helicopters into the Idaho backcountry for search and rescues.
On Thursday morning, a team responded to a remote area in the Idaho City area after a person riding an ATV crashed, the other two rescues from the past week included hikers.
The Idaho National Guard used a hoist recovery and flew these three people out of the backcountry to receive the medical care they needed.
“We don’t get the information too much on the why’s or the how’s, we get the approval to go and we are always willing to go help,” said Army National Guard pilot Nathan Spaulding. “It is really rewarding.”
A rescue begins with authorities in rural Idaho calling for extraction, then if crews are available, they start planning out the logistics.
“Location is an important one because we got to get to the right spot and sometimes that can be a challenge,” said Army National Guard pilot Mitchell Watson. “We want to know things like elevation, temperature, how many are injured, and the nature of their injuries.”
While communicating with ground crews, the two pilots assess the situation, in these rescues, the hoist operator lowered the medic down to the injured person.
“Then the medic will typically package the patient, put them in some type of litter,” said Watson. They will call us back then we will hoist out the patient and the medic.”
This four-person crew relies on training to hone their skills to ensure a successful mission in some of the most challenging terrain in Idaho.
“We are making a difference, and that’s why I think I like it,” said Watson.