The sound of freedom returns to Treasure Valley this week. Fighters from out of town are returning to our region as another sign of a return to normalcy. If you are new to the area be prepared, it will get very noisy in here!
Did you know Idaho is home to two of the best training facilities in the world for training fighter pilots? Units from all over the world come to Gowen Field and Mountain Home Air Force Base to train in real world conditions. Idaho looks like the same geographic challenges where conflict occurs.
The Idaho Air National Guard will welcome six F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 195th Fighter Squadron, 162nd Wing, Arizona Air National Guard, based in Tucson, Arizona, the Idaho Air Guard reports in a press release.
The jets are temporarily here to train with A-10s from the Idaho Air National Guard’s 190th Fighter Squadron. Operations will include flights operated during normal daylight hours. In addition to using the facilities and airspace here in Idaho, the two units will train together in the Utah Test and Training Range, located in the western Utah desert.
“Having another visiting unit train with us here at home only improves our combat capabilities,” said Col. Shannon Smith, commander of the 124th Fighter Wing, Idaho Air National Guard . “When we are called to fight, we do so with other units that operate and maintain different aircraft, so training with them is now an essential part of maintaining our combat readiness.”
This experience will expose Idaho pilots to scenarios beyond their normal close air support training and provide a unique opportunity to enhance their operational capabilities.
“As we prepare to welcome visiting units, our commitment to being good neighbors remains the same,” said Smith. “We want our neighbors to know what to expect… more planes mean the flight line will be noisier at times, but as always, we will take the necessary steps to limit the negative impacts on the community. If anyone has any concerns, please give us a call so that we can address them directly.