Canyon County militia aims to clear up misunderstanding over mission

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) - "The only thing I ever hear about militia, is somebody running around trying to shoot somebody and that's not what the Constitution says that we're supposed to be doing," said SSgt. David Anthony of the 27th Battalion Idaho Militia.

The Idaho constitution allows for unorganized militias by Idaho residents. One is the Lightfoot 27th Battalion Idaho Militia based in Canyon County.

"We have a communications team, we have a medical team, we have a security team, we have a convoy team, we have people that are being trained on a regular basis to handle these functions to support the community in the time of emergency," Anthony said.

They say they train four nights a week on getting licensed as ham radio operators or even EMT's. The battalion says they only spend about ten percent of their time on gun training.

"That's not us, we are not designed as a combat unit. These guys you're seeing pictured down there (Mesquite, Nevada) with their AR 15s leveled at federal officials, that's a no-no. that's a major no-no," said Anthony.

The unit says members are getting confused with other conflicts that are heavy on the gun side, like the issue with the BLM and cattle ranchers that faced off last weekend in Nevada.

"We've had email after email over this thing going on down in Nevada. We want to join up, we want to be part of your organization, when do we load our guns and leave. We have to come back with 'we don't load our guns and leave.' The governor of the state of Nevada has not asked for militia involvement. If he had, our governor would have responded to him," Anthony said.

The Canyon County battalion says it serves the community by being ready in case an emergency hits their area.

"Desani water bottles, full of rice, I've got 30 of those I could just toss out today and they've got two days' worth of rations of rice in them. I've got that because I know people are going to be hungry. I am not storing it for myself, I am storing it for the community," Anthony said.

A militia that trains to fight disasters rather than trains to fight enemies.