Postcards from Tradocia

gowen field, comin’ at you


(Pictured above is an F-102 Delta Dagger, painted in Idaho Air National Guard livery.)

This post is coming to you live from Gowen Field, Idaho, home of the 116th BCT (among other units). SFC Mo and I are here for a week conducting training for the fine soldiers of the Idaho Army National Guard – and let me tell you, it’s like a tropical vacation.

“Tropical” probably isn’t the first word that comes into your mind when you hear “Idaho.” Honestly, that word is probably “potato” – but no, I didn’t receive a complimentary potato bouquet upon arrival, nor was I provided with a potato-derived hand soap in my lodging facility. My bed, unfortunately, is not composed of flattened potatoes. In fact, the only contact with potatoes that I’ve had thus far was at Perkins yesterday, where I had some fries. So far, I think the whole “Idaho = potatoes” thing is a bunch of hype.

At any rate, this seems like a tropical vacation because it’s been in the 50’s during the day; compared to the sub-zero temperatures in Minneapolis, it really does seem warm. We’ve been driving around with the windows down, ferchrissakes!


Boise is bordered by mountains on one side, but only a few peaks in view are truly snow-covered in the stereotypical sense; the rest are dirt-brown foothills, crisscrossed with trails and studded with structures and antennae. The nighttime view evokes low-flying planes – which wouldn’t be unusual, since I’m about two blocks from the Boise airport’s runways – except the lights are from mountaintop buildings, not aircraft. I guess it never occurred to me that anyone would build structures on the sides of mountains – mountains seems like they should always be impassable, somehow.

The Idaho Air National Guard flies A-10 Warthogs from Gowen Field; a pair of them flew low over the billets this afternoon, flaps and gear down, on the last leg of their final approach. They banked sharply into their final turn – more than 45 degrees – and rapidly disappeared from view as they dropped to the runway. Seeing jets fly by always make me stop and gawk like a dorky little kid.

Maybe I should’ve joined the Air Force.


  1. Mom and Dad

    Remember the A-10s over Gettysburg?

  2. Jon

    My Annual Training at Gowen Field ( 148th Fighter Interceptor Group – Duluth, MN who also flew “deuces” ) – included four days at Sun Valley, skiing. The officers needed a fourth with some cash to split the cost of the four bedroom condo. I sure miss the Air National Guard, and their annual training!

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