Brig. Gen. Shannon Smith Selected as Assistant Adjutant General – Air

Maj. Gen. Timothy Donnellan is pleased to announce the selection of Brig. Gen. Shannon “Sinjin” Smith as the commander of the Idaho Air National Guard and assistant adjutant general- Air.
Smith replaces Donnellan in the same roles following Donnellan’s promotion to major general and appointment as adjutant general of Idaho and commander of the Idaho National Guard.
Smith previously served as the chief of staff of the Idaho Air National Guard, commander of the 113th Wing in Washington D.C., and commander of the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Fighter Wing. Smith has served in the Air National Guard since April 2002, following a decade in the active duty Air Force. As a pilot, he has logged more than 4,200 flight hours in his career and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
As the 124th Fighter Wing commander, Smith guided the wing through supporting the state’s response to the the COVID-19 pandemic while successfully conducting the wing’s second largest deployment in its history. During that 2020 deployment, the 124th Fighter Wing supported four named operations across 18 different locations, flying nearly 600 combat hours with no mishaps and a 100 percent weapons hit rate with no collateral damage. 

Guardsmen, Volunteers Clean Up Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

The Idaho National Guard, with the help of partners and local volunteers, held a trash cleanup event in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area June 22.
“Events like this are really helpful to be able to clean up some of that debris, help lessen the impact on either military training or environmental conservation, and really it’s a win-win for both efforts,” said Lt. Col. Allan Whitehead of the Idaho National Guard.
The Idaho National Guard provided four industrial size dumpsters for the event, all of which were filled to the brim. Idaho National Army Guard Environmental Management Office officials estimated 10-12 cubic tons of trash and debris left behind by recreational shooters or dumped by visitors was removed from the area.
“It just looks poor on the landscape and then people see that and they say ‘Oh it’s okay to do this,’ and it reinforces that it’s okay to dump trash, when I think a lot of us know that it’s not,” said Steve Alsup, the President of the Birds of Prey NCA Partnership.

Idaho National Guard Participates in 13th Annual Return of the Boise Valley People

On behalf of and in partnership with the descendants of the original Boise Valley People, the Idaho National Guard is proud to have participated in the 13th Annual Return of the Boise Valley People June 13-16. The night of June 13 started with a welcoming ceremony at Boise City Hall Plaza.
The welcoming ceremony included remarks from Tribal leaders, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and the Commanding General of the Idaho Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Tim Donnellan speaking on the front steps of Boise City Hall.
On June 14, the public was invited to share in the culture of the original Boise Valley people at Eagle Rock Park. Eagle Rock Park is a spiritual gathering place for Tribal people who return to offer prayers for ancestors buried at the site.
On June 15, the Idaho National Guard dedicated a sports complex to the Tribes during a ceremony hosted by the Adjutant General of Idaho Maj. Gen. Michael Garshak.
ROTBVP is intended to welcome home the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Boise Valley. Descendants of the original Boise Valley people include the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Fort Hall, Idaho; Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, Owyhee Nevada; Burns Paiute Tribe, Burns, Oregon; Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone, McDermitt, Nevada and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Warm Springs, Oregon.

Idaho Medical Airmen Train in Field to Boost Readiness

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho – Airmen from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 124th Medical Group trained in a field environment near Little Camas Reservoir in Elmore County June 5-8 to prepare for future deployments.

“The intent for this field training was to get the entire medical group exposed to the field environment for deployment readiness, as well as pushing comfort zones and team building,” said Maj. Mark Urban, critical care air transport team physician.

About 65 medical personnel practiced treating and stabilizing casualties using tactical combat casualty care in a simulated deployed location while defending medical structures and personnel.

Master Sgt. Raymond Perez, 124th Fighter Wing survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist, trained the Airmen to survive in intense situations in unfamiliar surroundings.

“The medical teams will be geographically separated from the hospitals while deployed, functioning from a forward operating base,” said Perez. “I am training them on personal protection, clothing, building shelters, building fires, mental and physical health, environmental safety and protection, water purification and food sustenance. We are going to find food in the area, anywhere from vegetation on the ground to hunting animals that we will cook and eat.”

Medical personnel focused on tactical combat casualty care, point of injury, patient packaging, calling in a 9-Line medevac, patient movement, ground treatment and prolonged field care. Perez trained them on map and compass skills, signaling and recovery and making ground-to-air signals with flares for air rescue.

Bolt assumes command of Alpha Company ‘Animals’

1st Lt. Lauren Bolt became the first female Idaho National Guard Soldier to command a line unit in the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team when she took her post as the commanding officer of Company A, 2-116th Combined Arms Battalion during a Feb. 26 change of command ceremony at the unit’s headquarters in Emmett, Idaho. The 2-116th is headquartered in Caldwell with units in Emmett and Nampa.

“I’m excited to be joining Alpha Company as their new commander,” said Bolt. “For the rest of this year, we have a lot to accomplish. However, I have nothing but trust, faith and confidence in the team that Capt. Edwards and 1st Sgt. Taft Bearden have built.”

Bolt, who has since been promoted to captain, relieved Capt. Arthur Edwards, who has led the unit since August 2020. Bolt enlisted in the Nevada National Guard in 2015 and initially served as a motor transport operator. She was commissioned in May 2017 as an armor officer through the University of Nevada, Las Vegas ROTC program and began her career with the Idaho National Guard as a platoon leader for Company B, 2-116th CAB. In 2019, then 2nd Lt. Bolt made Idaho history when she and fellow 2nd Lt. Brooke Berard graduated from the U.S. Army’s Armor Basic Officer Leaders Course as the state’s first two female armor officers. She has since served as the executive officer of both Company B and Headquarters and Headquarters Company. In Bolt’s most recent post she served as the battalion’s maintenance officer during its deployment in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

“I am confident in her ability to continue the Animal Company’s legacy of mission success.,” said Lt. Col. Barrett Bishop, 2-116th CAB commanding officer. “I was the battalion executive officer when Lauren was a new platoon leader, and she has developed herself well in Army competence and personal tact.”

The Army opened combat arms jobs to female Soldiers in 2015. Over the past decade, Idaho National Guardsmen have transitioned into career fields not previously open to them or reached new heights in their fields while continuing to ensure the organization remains “Always Ready, Always There” to respond to emergencies at home and abroad.

In 2014, Maj. Kimberly Tschepen became the state’s first female Soldier to command a battalion when she took command of the 145th Brigade Support Battalion and Command Sgt. Maj. Linda Burkhart became the state’s first female command sergeant major in 2015.

In 2015, Idaho Guardsman 1st Sgt. Erin Smith became the first female enlisted Soldier in the nation to graduate from M1 Armor Crewman School. Following her, Staff Sgt. Kylene Huerta completed the same course and became the first female Soldier to be assigned to the 116th CBCT as a tank crew member.

In 2017, Sgt. 1st Class Melanie Galletti graduated from the U.S. Army’s Infantryman Course as the Idaho National Guard’s first qualified female enlisted infantry Soldier. That same year, Col. Lora Rainey was appointed as the state’s first female staff judge advocate.

In 2019, 2nd Lt. Jessica Pauley became the state’s first female infantry officer.

Edwards’ departing remarks focused on reminding Company A Soldiers of their accomplishments and the pride he felt as their commander over the past two years.

“From day one, I have been beyond impressed with the professionalism and dedication of Alpha Company Soldiers,” said Edwards. “We have supported local and national callings, all while being part of an all-volunteer force … and I could not be prouder of serving alongside those volunteers.”