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Task force provides real-world training

Master Sergeant (MSgt) Neil Ramey, of the 124th Logistics Readiness Squadron, gives a high-five to an athlete from New Zealand who is competing in the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games as he arrives in Boise, Idaho. MSgt Ramey is helping with other members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Special Olympics which has been stood up with members of the Idaho National Guard to provide logistical support for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert Barney / RELEASED)

Master Sergeant (MSgt) Neil Ramey, of the 124th Logistics Readiness Squadron, gives a high-five to an athlete from New Zealand who is competing in the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games as he arrives in Boise, Idaho. MSgt Ramey is helping with other members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Special Olympics which has been stood up with members of the Idaho National Guard to provide logistical support for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert Barney / RELEASED)

GOWEN FIELD, Boise, Idaho -- The 200-plus Airmen and Soldiers who make up the Joint Task Force Special Olympics are providing logistical support and emergency preparedness to the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

But Idaho National Guard leaders view this huge effort that puts Idaho on a world stage as an incredible opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience.

Col. John Goodale, the JTF commander, said the Idaho Guard is thrilled to provide logistics support and emergency preparedness support to the games.

"Supporting the Special Olympics games is not only its own reward, it also serves as a training event for the Idaho National Guard as we hone our skills to prepare for any disaster emergency."