The Idaho National Guard is a major component of the Idaho Military Division. The Idaho National Guard MAINTAINS COMBAT READINESS TO FIGHT AND WIN OUR NATION’S WARS, DEVELOPS AND STRENGTHENS HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE, and BUILDS AND FOSTERS PARTNERSHIPS THROUGHOUT IDAHO, THE NATION, AND AROUND THE WORLD. With its unique dual responsibility to the state and nation, the Idaho National Guard answers to two executives: the governor of the State of Idaho, and when federalized, the president of the United States.The Idaho National Guard possesses incredible capability to carry out its state and federal missions. The training, skills and equipment Idaho National Guard Soldiers and Airmen receive results in combat-ready units and personnel able to support U.S. national security objectives. This training also prepares Citizen Soldiers and Airmen to assist communities throughout the State of Idaho during emergencies and disasters.
Idaho National Guard units are spread throughout the state in roughly two-dozen communities, making it an invaluable tool in the governor’s in-state emergency response toolbox. With Idaho Army National Guard Readiness Centers spread across the state and the Idaho Air National Guard based on Gowen Field, the organization falls under the command and control of its state headquarters located in Boise. Nearly 5,000 trained personnel in Idaho are standing ready to assist the state and nation in times of need.
The Idaho National Guard is organized under its Commander in Chief, Governor Brad Little, who has appointed Brig. Gen. Michael J. Garshak as the Adjutant General of Idaho and commander of the National Guard, who oversees both the Idaho Army and Air National Guard.
The Idaho Air National Guard maintains a strength of more than 1,200 personnel serving throughout three major units: the 266th Range Squadron, the 124th Fighter Wing and Joint Force Headquarters. Subordinate squadrons and flights include civil engineers, communications, security forces, logistics, maintenance, cyber protection, operations and operations support, the A-10 Fighter Squadron, as well as a medical group.
The Idaho Army National Guard is roughly 3,000 Soldiers strong and consists of several major units. The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is comprised of three combined arms battalions, an artillery regiment, an engineer battalion, a support battalion and an armored reconnaissance squadron. The brigade is spread across more than two dozen Idaho communities and four states including Montana, Nevada and Oregon. The Joint Forces Headquarters provides command and control and includes specialized units like the 25th Army Band. The State Army Aviation Office, stationed at Gowen Field, oversees rotary aircraft operations of a Black Hawk aviation company and air assault battalion, a Lakota air ambulance detachment and a C-12 detachment. The 204th Regional Training Institute and Installation Support Unit provide a premiere training environment for both Guard and Active component Soldiers and Airmen, and includes the world-class Orchard Combat Training Center. The Recruiting and Retention Battalion ensures the organization is filled with quality Citizen Soldiers from throughout the state.
In addition to partnering with the community here in Idaho, the Idaho National Guard also maintains a close working relationship with its official foreign partner — the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. The Idaho – Cambodia partnership was established in 2009 and conducts multiple Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Response-related subject matter exchanges between military personnel from both organizations. Each year, the Idaho National Guard, on average, conducts approximately seven of these engagements, in addition to senior leadership visits and training exercises.
The Idaho National Guard’s 101st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team provides unique expertise and capabilities to assist the Governor in preparing for and responding to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) incidents and natural disasters as part of Idaho’s emergency response structure. Idaho’s team consists of 22 highly skilled full-time National Guardsmen who are federally resourced, trained and exercised, and employs federally-approved CBRN response doctrine to provide 24/7/365 response capabilities when requested to support an on-scene Incident Commander.
Youth ChalleNGe Academy
Another critical program within the Idaho Military Division is the Youth ChalleNGe Academy: a volunteer program for at-risk 16 to 18 year-olds who are on the verge of dropping out of high school, or who already have. The goal of the program is to give youth a second chance to become responsible and productive citizens by helping them improve their life skills, education levels, and employment potential. The program incorporates a highly structured format, with an emphasis on student discipline and personal responsibility, to provide a positive, safe, and secure learning environment.