Governor, congressmen react to Idaho Guard deployment
Idaho’s congressional delegation and Gov. Butch Otter have expressed their support and well-wishes for the approximately 1,500 members of the Idaho Army National Guard who will deploy to Iraq in September. It will be the second deployment to Iraq for the 116th Combat Brigade Combat Team, which also includes men and women from Montana and Oregon
“I ask Idahoans to join me in wishing the best to our men and women in uniform, and their family members,” Otter said in a news release. “With the help and understanding of friends, employers and other community members, I have no doubt our hometown heroes will succeed again.” The governor is the commander-in-chief of the state’s National Guard, though the president can mobilize the Guard during national emergencies.
“This mobilization order affects not only our soldiers, but also their families and civilian employers,” said Brig. Gen. Gary Sayler, the head of the state’s military division. Members of the 116th will head to Camp Selby in Mississippi for additional training before spending 10 months in Iraq.
In a joint statement, Idaho’s four members of Congress, Reps. Mike Simpson and Walt Minnick and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, also showed support for the National Guard. “Our thoughts are with the families whose loved ones will be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom,” the statement said. “We have always supported efforts to ensure our military men and women have the resources they need to carry out and complete their missions successfully. The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is home to some of the nation’s finest, and we know they are trained and prepared for their upcoming mission. We wish them success and look forward to welcoming each of them home.”