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Army West Blog

Meet Washington National Guard's Spartan Warrior

"Put one foot in front of the other," Julie Keppner kept saying to herself. "Focus on the little goal right in front of you," she added, standing in position, waiting for the signal at the start of her latest attempt to conquer another Spartan Race. "Anything is possible." Keppner, 36, lined up next

McChord Flightline Chatter

WADS able to scramble jets faster

When an unidentified aircraft comes up on the screens at the Western Air Defense Sector, it took 18 distinct steps and a whole host of people to decide whether to scramble jets and determine if the aircraft posed a threat. Today, after a vigorous process improvement effort, it now takes three

Army West Blog

Washington National Guard captain makes history

Friday, Oct. 13, the soldiers of Alpha Troop gathered together in the tiny National Guard armory in Puyallup to witness the first ever cavalry-qualified female take command of a troop in the Army. Capt. Samantha Domingue took command of A Troop, 1st Squadron, 303rd Cavalry Regiment (1-303rd CAV), 41st Infantry Brigade

Army West Blog

First responders working together

When a disaster strikes, resources are put to the test. Especially in smaller, rural communities. "We're a small critical access hospital so we would anticipate in a real situation that we're probably going to get a lot of patients and might even get overrun, so it's a great exercise for us

Army West Blog

WA cyber going national?

New, bipartisan legislation named for the late Major Gen. Tim Lowenberg would build upon the success of the Washington National Guard's cyber units and create dedicated units around the country to help states counter cyber-attacks. The legislation is sponsored by Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA), who has seen the Washington National Guard's

Army West Blog

A legacy remembered

Maj. Gen. (Ret) Tim Lowenberg once said he wanted to be remembered as a general that took care of the soldiers -- and never backed away from a challenge. His legacy will far exceed his wishes. On Aug. 27, Lowenberg, the former adjutant general of the Washington Military Department and commander of

Army West Blog

Redlegs train on new M777 Howitzer

The breach opens, a pair of cannon crewmen load one 155-millimeter caliber artillery round into the chamber of the 35-foot weapon. The smell of gun powder lingers in the air as the team prepares for the inevitable blast that will shake the nearly five ton M777 Howitzer backwards and forwards. The

Army West Blog

Legislators, governor honor Guard

Members of the Washington National Guard were honored by the State Legislature, April 7, with resolutions thanking the Guard for serving "the country as guardians of American interests at home and abroad." Gov. Jay Inslee also thanked soldiers and airmen and gave out awards to outstanding Guard members for their service.

Army West Blog

Medics train to save lives in a dynamic environment

For five days in the cold, drizzling rain, sometimes working 20 hours non-stop, the soldiers of the Treatment and Evacuation platoons of C Company, 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, were evaluated on key medic skills during their recent field training exercise (FTX) at Joint Base

Army West Blog

New readiness center showcases Guard

Amidst the trees and historic buildings that dot Camp Murray now stands a new, state-of-the-art readiness center. It took five years and a lot of help, but last month the Washington National Guard officially opened the new Pierce County Readiness Center (PCRC) on Camp Murray, once again giving the Tacoma area

Army West Blog

Unit finds warmth in teamwork

Huddled together in snow caves at night, amid up to five feet of snow, about 30 members of Delta Company, 898th Brigade Engineer Battalion struggled to stay warm, but never lost their reason for coming: survival and teamwork. For three days and two nights, the Washington National Guard soldiers perfected the

Army West Blog

First SPP exchange builds partnership

Loud bangs come from a small stage at the front of the room. A group performs a traditional Thai drumming demonstration while others display sword fighting techniques for the group of foreign visitors in the audience. Lt. Col. Paul Sellars, commander, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment looks on in amazement

Army West Blog

Guard member flies Black Hawk back to high school

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sean Quillin carefully navigated his UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter above a crowd of wind-swept high school kids. Below him was the wide-open gridiron of Emerald Ridge High School's football field. The students belong to the school's aviation program and Emerald Ridge, located in Puyallup, is one of

Army West Blog

Local soldiers save hikers

It is the staple mission of the Washington Military Department - to safeguard the lives and property of Washington state. On July 10, a Blackhawk crew from the 66th Theater Aviation Command, Washington National Guard, met that mission in its first aviation search and rescue operation.   At 7 a.m. on

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