About 60 Idaho

National Guard members  are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan as part of a Blackhawk helicopter crew that will support Operation Enduring Freedom.  According to Natl. Guard Spokesman Col. Tim Marsano, the citizen soldiers are from the Company A, 1-168 General Support Aviation Battalion based at Gowen Field in Boise. 

Marsano says some are pilots, while others make up the unit's diverse ground support crew.  The unit includes eight, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.   On Saturday, the group will leave Idaho and travel to Ft. Hood, Texas for the first leg of its long journey. That's where members will train and prepare for deployment for about two months. Marsano says their deployment will likely last about one year.  He says  the group's helicopters will likely be shipped to Afghanistan in a cargo aircraft, while guard members themselves will travel by military air transport.  The unit's crew members have already served overseas twice in the last decade, traveling to Southwest Asia in 2001, and assisting in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007.   Crew members will depart for Ft. Hood on Saturday at approximately 10 a.m.