Military training could impact GPS devices in Bruneau area
BOISE – Mountain Home Air Force Base officials are reaching out to the state’s agricultural community to let them know that GPS devices may be impacted during upcoming military training exercises in the Bruneau area.
The training will take place between Sept. 1-4 and Sept. 8-11 around the general Bruneau and base area.
Air Force officials reached out to Idaho Farm Bureau Federation to help spread the word to farmers and ranchers that tractors and other devices that rely on the use of the Global Positioning System may malfunction during the exercises.
“We anticipate that at points between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on these dates, devices in that area that rely on GPS may malfunction,” a Mountain Home AFB news release states. “Those who have agricultural equipment or other devices may be impacted during this time….”
Capt. Margaret Kealy-Machella, a spokeswoman for Mountain Home AFB, told IFBF that the Air Force understands how important agriculture is to the state and wanted to do everything possible to minimize any potential impacts on farmers and ranchers.
“We want to be sure that we inform those in our amazing agriculture community” about the potential impacts, she said.
Representatives from IFBF and Mountain Home AFB are working together to spread the word about the exercises and the impact they could have on GPS devices.
“We really appreciate the fact that Air Force officials took the time and effort to reach out to Idaho’s agricultural community to inform them of these exercises and their potential to disrupt GPS devices,” said IFBF President Bryan Searle, a farmer from Shelley. “We are more than happy to work on this effort in conjunction with the men and women who protect this great nation.”
Bruneau is in Owyhee County. According to the most recent Census of Agriculture data, there are about 578 farms and 749,000 acres of farmland in the county.
This is the second time in the past two years that Air Force officials have reached out to Farm Bureau to let them know about the exercises.
“We thank you for your patience and understanding as we undertake a critical training mission to ensure our readiness and national defense,” the Mountain Home AFB news release states. “This training ensures that we are prepared for real-world combat and remain lethal and agile.”
Mountain Home AFB has more than 4,800 military, civilian employees and families and is home to three fighter squadrons and 62 F-15 fighter jets.
For more information about the exercises, contact the Mountain Home AFB public affairs office at (208) 828-6800 or by email at 366FW.PA.Public.Affairs@us.af.mil