Boise Air Terminal Air Guard Station
Gowen Army Airfield
|Part of Idaho Air National Guard (ID ANG)|
|Located near: Boise, Idaho|
A-10A Thunderbolt II from the 190th Fighter Squadron, 124th Wing, Idaho Air National Guard, flies over the Sawtooth Range, Idaho
|Controlled by||United States Air Force|
124th Fighter Wing
|IATA: BOI – ICAO: KBOI – FAA LID: BOI|
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- See: Boise Airport for civil airport information
The 124th Fighter Wing, Idaho Air National Guard includes two flying squadrons and 12 support units based at Gowen Field Air National Guard Base in Boise, Idaho. The 124th Wing, a reserve component of the US Air Force, is one of the few Air Guard units in the nation with three separate federal missions.
Until the mid-1990s, the mission of the 124th Wing involved RF-4C Phantom II reconnaissance aircraft. As the F-4 was being phased out of the U.S military, the 124th Wing was selected to assume close-air support and tactical airlift missions. Therefore, the aircraft based at Gowen Field were replaced with A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft and C-130 Hercules transports.
Gowen Field is also the home of the Idaho Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and reserve units of the Army, Navy, and Marines. The Idaho Army National Guard is also very active at Gowen Field, and consists of armor, helicopter, and other training units. The combined area within the Airport boundaries under exclusive-use military lease is about 570 acres of land. Another 1,500 acres on the Airport is under a joint-use agreement between the City and the military.
Boise's first municipal airport was built in 1926 on a gravel bed beside the Boise River where Boise State University is located today. On April 6, 1926, Varney Airlines flew the first commercial airmail in the U.S. from Pasco to Boise to Elko. Varney later joined others to form United Airlines. United Airlines, which traces its beginnings to Boise, inaugurated jet service to the city on October 26, 1964. It is the only airline to have served Boise continuously since 1933. A great moment in local air history came on September 4, 1927 when Charles A. Lindbergh landed his "Spirit of St. Louis" in Boise.
Boise bought and leased land for the present airport in 1936-38. Its 8,800 foot runway was the nation's longest at that time. Varney's 1931 steel hangar from the old field was moved to the present one in 1939. When planes got too big for it, it was closed in as part of the terminal building. It is still inside today's modern terminal. The United States Army Air Corps leased Boise's field and built a major training base for B-17 and B-24 heavy bomber crews. More than 6,000 men were stationed there for most of the war years.
When the war was over Gowen Field was returned to Boise City, then leased to the Idaho National Guard, which still uses it. By 1952 Boise's little airport consisted of the old Varney hangar, now closed in for a terminal building, and a new air traffic control tower, dedicated on July 13. Boise Airport has two parallel runways: North runway (10L/28R): 10,000 ft. long and 150 ft. wide; and South runway (10R/28L): 9,763 ft. long and 150 ft. wide.
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