Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: September, 2010 (25) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 25

September 3, 2010 at 1:06pm

NCOs to monitor soldiers' nightlife activities this weekend

Patrols will keep an eye on GI drinking at more than a dozen bars in Lakewood and Tacoma, according to The News Tribune.

So-called courtesy patrols of non-commissioned Army officers are starting to make appearances at more than a dozen bars in Lakewood and Tacoma, just in time for the long Labor Day weekend.

"We think it's going to be a positive thing for our soldiers and our neighboring communities," Col. Michael Courts, deputy chief of staff for I Corps, told the paper.

What the patrol is not is a law enforcement sweep, Courts emphasized. Patrol members will be in uniform and will wear a brassard on their arms, he said, but they won't be armed and they won't make arrests.

The program does not aim to discourage soldiers from visiting bars, Courts said. Lewis-McChord will see some 18,000 soldiers return from overseas deployments this year - nearly two-thirds are already home - and some will naturally want to blow off a little steam, he said.

For more on this story, click here.

Filed under: Fort Lewis, Holidays, Lakewood, Tacoma,

September 7, 2010 at 6:54am

A parade for the troops?

Kathleen Merryman's column focuses on throwing a big parade for the returning troops this Veterans Day.

September 7, 2010 at 1:22pm

Veterans organization hosts country dance Saturday

VetsMeetVets, a local veterans networking organization, hosts a country dance from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday at AMVETS Post #1, 5717 South Tyler St., Tacoma.
The evening features entertainment by the country band Reckless and line dancing lessons from the Honkey Tonk Angels.

Both entertainment groups are donating their time and AMVETS Post #1 is donating its facilities to support the program.
Beer, wine, soda and water will be available for purchase. The event will also have bar food available for purchase as well as raffles and door prizes.
Organizers are unable to accept checks or debit/charge cards but an ATM is available on site.
For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit

September 7, 2010 at 2:22pm

17th FIRES Welcome Home Ceremony

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - 17th Fires Brigade will uncase its
colors in a redeployment ceremony to be held September 8 at 10 a.m. on
Watkins Field at JBLM-Lewis Main.

Approximately 1,000 Soldiers recently returned from a 12-month
deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The brigade's Headquarters and Headquarters battery provided command and
control and about half of the personnel assigned to "Task Force
Thunderbolt," a task force of U.S. service members who worked closely
with the 14th Iraqi Army Division, Iraqi Police, and Department of
Border Enforcement, as well as local government officials and the area's
Provincial Reconstruction Team, to support government and military
operations throughout the province.

The task force provided management and oversight for more than 100 civil
support projects to restore water treatment and electricity generation
capabilities and rebuild civic institutions in the region, impacting
more than 2 million Iraqi citizens in its area of operation. The unit
also provided advice and assistance to Iraqi security forces during
parliamentary elections in March.

Deployed with the brigade's headquarters was 256th Signal Company, 1st
Battalion (Air Assault) of the 377th Field Artillery Regiment; 606th
Forward Support Company; and the 308th Brigade Support Battalion.
Several other units from the brigade that did not deploy as part of Task
Force Thunderbolt have also recently returned from deployment. In
February, Soldiers with Foxtrot Battery, 26th Field Artillery Regiment
(Target Acquisition), returned from a deployment providing Sentinel
radar cover for five outlying bases for Coalition Forces under
Multi-National Divisions-Baghdad; North and South.

In March, Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment,
17th Fires Brigade, returned from a deployment serving as the Fires and
Effects Coordination Cell for the 25th Infantry Division as part of

In June, Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment
deployed to support 1st Cavalry Division, and later 1st Armored
Division, as part of MND-Baghdad.

September 9, 2010 at 3:16pm

Dad says he told Army civilians were killed

AP has a report from a soldier's dad who claims he told officials that civilians were killed in Afghanistan at the hands of Strykers from JBLM.

September 9, 2010 at 3:21pm

Free Puyallup Fair admission for military

The Puyallup Fair, which kicks off Friday, is offering free admission for active, retired and reserve military and National Guard and their family members, plus disabled veterans with a valid military ID on Sept. 13 and 20.

For more information, visit

September 10, 2010 at 12:10pm

Sale of Medal of Honor video game banned at U.S. bases

(WASHINGTON) -- Military bases across the U.S. have banned the sale of a new video game that lets a player pretend to be a Taliban fighter and "shoot" U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

"Medal of Honor" by Electronic Arts, a major game developer based in Redwood City, Calif., hits stores Oct. 12. Gamers are scoffing at the decision, saying that advanced technology has made it commonplace in the gaming world to let players switch sides and play the bad guy.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: Afghanistan, Games,

September 11, 2010 at 4:17pm

201st coming home

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - About 250 Soldiers from 201st
Battlefield Surveillance Brigade will be reunited with their families
and friends at a ceremony currently scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday.

About 1,000 Soldiers from the 201st BfSB deployed in support of
Operation Iraqi Freedom last September. While deployed, the brigade
conducted intelligence collection, surveillance, counter-intelligence,
and reconnaissance in support of U.S. Forces Iraq and Iraqi security

The brigade provided more than 80 intelligence-collection teams at
locations throughout Iraq. The teams assisted U.S. and Iraqi forces in
identifying criminal activities, seizing weapons caches, and reducing
violence. Members of the brigade also served as part of Task Force ISR
(Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), providing intelligence
assessments and analysis for Multi-National Forces Iraq and U.S. Forces

The brigade's long-range surveillance company trained more than 500
Iraqi border patrol officers in surveillance, reconnaissance, and
small-unit tactics, and participated in more than 75 joint U.S.-Iraq
reconnaissance missions along the Iraq-Iran border.

The brigade also provided secure network-based communication and
information sharing and logistics support to intelligence collection
efforts and other U.S. operations while deployed.

Although a few Soldiers returned earlier this month as part of the
brigade's advance party, this flight marks the beginning of the return
for the brigade's "main body." Most Soldiers deployed with the unit will
return to JBLM over the next two weeks.

September 11, 2010 at 4:19pm

More Army troops at JBLM

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Army says it plans to add up to nearly 5,700 more active-duty soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The News Tribune of Tacoma reports that the additional troops would arrive through 2015, boosting the local economy while placing further demands on roads, housing and schools. The number of active-duty soldiers at the base would approach 36,000.

The Army projects that more than 8,600 family members would accompany the new soldiers.

September 13, 2010 at 11:07am

Welcome Home 3rd Brigade

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Joint Base Lewis-McChord will formally

welcome home the Soldiers of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd

Infantry Division during a Redeployment Ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 14,

at 10 a.m. on Watkins Field.

The 3rd Stryker Brigade (also known as the "Arrowhead" brigade) was

deployed from August 2009 to August 2010 to Iraq in support of Operation

Iraqi Freedom.

During the ceremony the brigade will uncase its colors, signifying the

completion of its deployment and its return to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

This was the 3rd Stryker Brigade's third deployment to Iraq. The brigade

deployed in November 2003, serving 12 months in Samarra and Mosul. The

unit deployed again to Iraq in June 2006, conducting operations in Mosul

and the Ninevah Province, Baghdad, Najaf, and Baqubah, before returning

to then-Fort Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord) in September, 2007.

3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, was the first Stryker

Brigade in the U.S. Army, and the first Army Stryker Brigade to deploy

in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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