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McChord brings airpower to NW

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McChord brings airpower to NW

McChord Field became the headquarters of the GHQ Air Force Northwest Air District in 1940.  The mission was to defend the Upper Great Plains and the Pacific Northwest.  The first military group to arrive at the new Air Force field in mid-June 1940, was the 17th Bombardment Group from March

A decade of change

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A decade of change

Servicemembers that served at Fort Lewis in the 1950s might look back wondering with whom they served. Was it the 2nd or the 71st, and what was Gyroscope and STRAC? The period between 1950 and 1959 was a time of adjustment and perpetual change for the Army and the Evergreen Post.

Back to war for troops

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Back to war for troops

Home wasn't much more than a stopover between maneuvers for many 4th Division soldiers during the early 1960s. Division troops were involved in joint exercises with the Navy and Air Force and spent their share of time spitting out sand in the Mojave and Yakima deserts.  In 1960 alone, division

A familiar pattern at Fort Lewis

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A familiar pattern at Fort Lewis

The war in Vietnam had a diminishing effect on Fort Lewis as we entered the 1970s.  Although the post recognized the 250,000th soldier to process through the North Fort Transfer Station February 20, 1970, the Army was already making plans to close both the basic training and personnel center here.

Jane Fonda was here

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Jane Fonda was here

"I shall return!" With those parting words, actress and political activist Jane Fonda was escorted off then Fort Lewis property by military police following her raid on the Evergreen Post, March 7, 1970. The caper was part of an attempt by Fonda, and the daughter of Jim Thorpe, the famed Native

The HTTB and beyond

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The HTTB and beyond

Ninth Division soldiers and their machines were the big news in the early 1980's as officials began developing a revised future for the Army. Part of the new doctrine included assembling a light, mobile infantry division with the fire power to knock out heavy, armored forces. In 1981, the 9th Infantry

Ebb and flow in the 1990s

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Ebb and flow in the 1990s

The Department of Defense announced officially in January 1990 the end of the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) - a crushing blow for the local community now wondering whether Fort Lewis would remain open.  At the time, rumors suggested that the 7th Infantry Division from Fort Ord would move here, but

A decade of war

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A decade of war

Fort Lewis became the leader of the Army's model Transformation Initiative process, which would serve as a model for change in the U.S. Army to create a new combat power (see previous chapter and following stories). With the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, however, the world and base entered

JBLM and the Strykers

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JBLM and the Strykers

From the horse-mounted soldiers of 100 years ago to the 450 horse-powered Strykers that characterize a significant portion of the post's mission today, the post has steadfastly served the country. Strykers have met the challenges of a post-Cold War world with the development of a more flexible doctrine of war fighting

War from inside a Stryker

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War from inside a Stryker

In the damp of an April morning in 2004, soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division prepared for a "Lancer Challenge." As stopwatches ticked, the soldiers confronted challenges - from carrying telephone poles to crawling through foot-deep mud - to complete the test. Moments after finishing, a dirty and wet Col.

The rise of the joint base

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The rise of the joint base

Goodbye North Fort Lewis, Main Post, even McChord Air Force Base, as the second decade of the 21st century began, so did a major name change at Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base.  As a result of the Base Realignment and Closure process, the Evergreen Post became Joint Base

Memories of McChord

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Memories of McChord

As Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) nears its Centennial Celebration, many influential leaders of not only JBLM, but also the community that supports the military, are sharing some of their memories, good and bad, of their tenure at JBLM. Former Chief of the 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Lt. Col. Anna Sullivan

Don and Joan Brown: A McChord life

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Don and Joan Brown: A McChord life

Back in the far-off days of 1976, when Peter Frampton ruled the airwaves and Fort Lewis and Air Force Base McChord were separated, Maj. Gen. (retired) Don and Joan Brown moved onto McChord, and the four years they spent there are ones they will remember for the rest of their

An Army life

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An Army life

Marion Sydenham Ball was born in 1923 in Ft. Missoula, Montana, as she puts it, "a child of the 4th Infantry Regiment." When Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, Ball interrupted her college studies to enlist in the Army Nurse Corps, but shortly after the war ended, she

A candied history

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A candied history

Innovation can make history. Take Brown & Haley's Almond Roca as one such example. At the beginning of World War I in 1914, Harry Brown and J.C. Haley started a candy company in Tacoma, Washington. In 1916, Brown & Haley began producing a confection called the Mount Tacoma Bar.  As the war wore

Ranger newspaper celebrates 66 years

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Ranger newspaper celebrates 66 years

The Ranger newspaper may not be 100 years old like Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but it's been covering the base longer than it hasn't. Established in January 1951, The Ranger has reported on a big portion of the base's history, starting publication just after the 2nd Division here deployed to fight in

Featured Events

Party for Military Families

The Ranger, Airlifter, Northwestmilitary.com, along with USAA, are hosting a special holiday party February 25 in Lacey - inviting all military families to enjoy not only a party with treats, games and fun, but also a special Princess Party that includes pictures and games with Disney Princesses and hair-styling (curls,

Application window open for Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund

News Front

Application window open for Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund

The Fort Lewis Family Scholarship Fund is seeking applicants for its merit-based scholarship program. Applications must be postmarked by March 24, 2017. Last year, the fund distributed $30,500 in scholarships. "The fund awards scholarships to three military family groups: high school seniors, current post-secondary students and military spouses," said Scholarship Coordinator

Texas actor plays Navy SEAL in "SIX"

News Front

Texas actor plays Navy SEAL in "SIX"

While growing up in the small town of Waxahachie, Texas, Donny Boaz had absolutely no aspirations for the Hollywood scene. Through and through, he was dedicated to sports and used that as his motivation in life. In 1999, at the age of 18, Boaz walked through the doors of a

A century of service

Attractions

A century of service

Ambition in the service of education is a desirable mission statement. This endeavor is commendable as the 7th Infantry Division turns a century old. "We're commemorating the one hundred years of the division's establishment as a division headquarters," explained Lt. Col. Frederick Williams, the division's public affairs officer, "in order to

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