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Idaho Army National Guard cancels historic training in Germany

Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 17:12:11-04

Imagine planning a trip for two years only to have it canceled by the coronavirus.

That's what happened to 16-hundred Idaho National Guard members with the 116th Cavalry. Their training exercise in Germany is over before it began.

Thanks to the coronavirus, the military pulled the plug on any new troops going overseas for what's known as Defender Europe 2020, and that's no small deal.

"This exercise has been on our radar for almost two years," laments Lt. Col. Chris Borders, PIO for the Idaho National Guard, "Last year we went to the national training center in preparation for a big movement like Defender."

Training with foreign allies is a key part of operational readiness, but Borders says the 116th will get it's chance. Meantime, commanding officers are scrambling to come up with another yearly exercise that's mandated for the 116th.

"Conducting annual training periods is nothing new for the Idaho National Guard," says Borders, "so we should have something put out to the force relatively quickly."

Scheduled training for the Air National Guard's 124th fighter wing is still planned for a couple months from now in southwest Asia.