Idaho Army National Guard deploys to Southwest Asia

Idaho Army National Guard deploys

More than 250 Soldiers from the Idaho National Guard’s largest unit, the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, left for a 12-month deployment on Nov. 5 to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Spartan Shield. The brigade has trained for more than a year in anticipation of this mobilization.

OSS is a joint mission under the United States Central Command and is part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Idaho Soldiers will comprise nearly 20 percent of the 116th CBCT task force during this rotation. Soldiers from 116th CBCT units in Montana, Nevada and Oregon, as well as the Florida Army National Guard, will also fall under the task force.

“The Soldiers of the 116th are trained and ready to go,” said Lt. Col. Eric Orcutt, 116th CBCT commander. “I could not be more proud of these men and women and the efforts they’ve put forth in training and preparing for this mission. They are eager and they are focused and as always, they will achieve the highest level of success.”

OSS is an ongoing operation and supported primarily by Army National Guard units from across the country. This deployment is anticipated to last approximately 12 months and is the first rotation the brigade is scheduled to support, with the second rotation occurring in the summer of 2022. The Soldiers mobilizing today will receive 45 days of additional training stateside before deploying overseas.

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team previously deployed in support of the Global War on Terror in 2004 and 2010 to Iraq. Additionally, more than 400 Idaho Air National Guardsmen deployed to Southwest Asia in the summer of 2020.