More than two-and-a-half dozen members from two Idaho Army National Guard aviation units will be deployed this spring to locations within the Central Command Theater in support of combat operations.

The bulk of these personnel are assigned to a unit belonging to the Army National Guard’s 1st of the 168th General Support Aviation Battalion and will deploy to Afghanistan to participate in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

The unit is located at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, and operates the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, and will provide MEDEVAC operations within Afghanistan.  The unit will mobilize for approximately 12 months, which includes a training period at Fort Hood, Texas, with the remaining months in theater.

The second, smaller unit of nearly a half-dozen personnel is currently operating in various areas within the Central Command Theater.

“Our Idaho Army National Guard aviators are some of the finest pilots in the nation,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Burt, the Idaho Army National Guard’s state aviation officer.  “These soldiers are well-trained, extremely focused and ready to perform the mission.”

These deployments will mark the eighth time in a decade that Idaho Army National Guard aviation units have deployed in support of overseas combat operations.