Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: October, 2010 (21) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 21

October 1, 2010 at 2:17pm

'Taliban' shooter feature pulled from video game

This from Military Times: Video gamers no longer will be able to fight and kill American troops as members of the “Taliban” in the upcoming first-person shooter “Medal of Honor,” Military Times has learned. Instead, they’ll fight and kill American troops as “the opposing force,” a response to criticism from service members’ families and others.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: Hobbies, News To Us,

October 1, 2010 at 3:49pm

Guard EOD soldiers depart on year-long deployment

CAMP MURRAY - The Washington Army National Guard bid farewell today to approximately 25 citizen soldiers from the 319th Ordnance Company (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) headquartered at Camp Murray.  The 319th will be deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 319th transitioned onto federal active duty status Thursday. Their mission will be to respond to, analyze, attack and mitigate explosive hazards and improvised explosive device threats throughout the Central Command Theater.

"The 319th is embarking upon a vital mission that will be crucial to the safety of those they serve with overseas.  They are very well trained and will make our state and nation proud," Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Lowenberg, the Adjutant General and Commander of the Washington National Guard, said in a release.

The 319th will receive pre-deployment training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, before deploying to the CENTCOM Theater later this fall.  319th teams will serve throughout CENTCOM including Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. The deployment is scheduled for 12 months plus any leave time they accrue, and are slated to return home in the fall of 2011.  

The unit previously served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from October 2004 to December 2005.  The 319th consistently trains with local, state and federal jurisdictions here in the U.S. 

October 4, 2010 at 4:02pm

Court case delayed

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs was just informed by the JBLM
Staff Judge Advocate that the Article 32 hearing previously scheduled
for tomorrow for Staff Sgt. David D. Bram has been delayed. The Article
32 hearing may be rescheduled for later this month.

October 4, 2010 at 4:03pm

1100 use new JBLM gate this a.m.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - More than 1,100 vehicles accessed
Mounts Road gate today, a new gate for vehicles to enter Joint Base
Lewis-McChord on weekday mornings.

* Gate is open from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
* Only for drivers with DoD identification and JBLM registration decals
on their vehicles.
* Gate is for inbound traffic only.
* The gate is intended for drivers travelling northeast on Nisqually
Road/Mounts Road.
* The new gate is not intended as an alternate access point for drivers
already on I-5. Drivers already on I-5 should plan to use one of the
existing JBLM gates along the interstate.
* Gate can only be accessed by a right-hand turn from Nisqually Road.
* Drivers SHOULD NOT use exit 116 to access the new gate. Left turns
into the gate will not be permitted.

The Mounts Road gate has been opened to relieve some congestion on
northbound I-5 and take pressure off the other JBLM gates along the
interstate. It was made possible by a partnership between the joint base
and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). This
cooperative effort made possible an immediate step to help ease
congestion motorists are currently experiencing on northbound I-5
leading to and through the Joint Base Lewis-McChord corridor.


October 19, 2010 at 12:33pm

5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment returns home

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - About 130 Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade, will be reunited with their families and friends at a welcome home ceremony currently scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 a.m. at Soldiers Field House.

5-3 FA deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in October 2009. About 150 Soldiers from the unit's Alpha battery redeployed to JBLM about a month ago.

While deployed, members of the unit supported numerous missions in support of the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force.

The battalion was headquartered at Forward Operation Base Sharana (FOB Sharana).

  • The battalion's Alpha battery was assigned to US Forces-Afghanistan (USAF) Regional Command- East (at FOB Sharana and Bagram Airfield).
  • The battalion's Charlie Battery was assigned to the USAF Regional Command-South (FOB Boldak and Kandahar Airfield).

The unit provided personnel for missions that included: convoy security for route-clearance patrols, and detainee operations. Other members of the unit were assigned to the USAF-South Mine Action Center, the FOB Sharana Base Defense Operations Center, and the FOB Sharana Mayor's Cell.

October 19, 2010 at 4:21pm

National AUSA conference speakers announced

This from Military Times: Army leaders will share their views of the state of the service at the annual gathering of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C., which starts next Monday, Oct. 25, and runs through Oct. 27.

Registration opens Saturday at the AUSA registration desk at the Washington Convention Center, where the gathering will take place.

  • Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey at the Dwight David Eisenhower Luncheon on Oct. 26. Tickets are required.
  • Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston at the Sergeant Major of the Army Conference on Oct. 25 and 26.
  • Vice Chief of Staff Peter Chiarelli at the Sergeant Major of the Army Awards Luncheon on Oct. 25.
  • Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command, at the Corporate Member Luncheon on Oct. 25.
  • Command Sgt. Maj. David M. Bruner of Army Training and Doctrine Command at an NCO Professional Development Forum early Oct. 26.
  • Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the invitation-only Sustaining Member Luncheon on Oct. 27.
  • Maj. Gen. Raymond Carpenter, acting director of the Army National Guard, at a seminar on Oct. 27.
Filed under: Army News, News To Us,

October 20, 2010 at 1:33pm

Article 32 hearing set for Stryker soldier

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. - A Joint Base Lewis-McChord investigating officer will convene an Article 32 hearing here at 9 a.m., Thursday, October 21, to examine evidence regarding the charges preferred against Staff Sgt. David D. Bram, a 5th Stryker Brigade Soldier facing charges associated with an on-going investigation into incidents that occurred in Afghanistan during their deployment.

The hearing is scheduled for one day.

Charges against Staff Sgt. David D. Bram include:

  •  One specification of conspiracy to commit assault and battery, UCMJ Article 81
  • One specification of unlawfully striking another Soldier, Article 128
  • One specification of violating a lawful general order, and one specification of dereliction of duty, UCMJ Article 92
  • One specification of cruelty and maltreatment, UCMJ Article 93
  • One Specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, UCMJ Article 134

JBLM officials emphasize that the charges constitute an accusation and that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Officially known as an Article 32 pretrial investigation, the hearing is similar to a grand jury investigation.  For this Article 32 hearing, an investigating officer has been appointed to look into the charges. The investigating officer will review the evidence presented by defense and prosecution attorneys in order to make a recommendation regarding the sufficiency of the charges and the appropriate level of court-martial. 

The Article 32 hearing will be open to the public, however, space is limited.

Filed under: Crime, Strykers,

October 20, 2010 at 2:07pm

Far more troops survive IEDs in Afghanistan

This from USA Today: WASHINGTON - Better battlefield treatment and faster medevac flights have helped to cut nearly in half the number of troops killed by roadside bombs in Afghanistan, military officials say.

The Pentagon says 24 troops died from the 180 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that detonated in September. One year ago, 46 troops died from 131 IEDs in September.

One improvement: Rugged ventilators distributed since 2008 to help wounded troops breathe have saved the lives of eight U.S. troops, said Army Col. Richard Todd Dombroski, surgeon for the Pentagon's Joint IED Defeat Organization. The ventilators are used aboard medevac helicopters.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: Afghanistan, Army News,

October 20, 2010 at 3:30pm

Goodwill hosts job fair for young adults

A job fair for young adults with employers such as Nordstrom, Safeway and Emerald Queen Casino will take place Oct. 21, 3-5:30 p.m. inside Tacoma Goodwill's new Milgard Work Opportunity Center, 714 S. 27th St., Tacoma.

The event is free and open to the public and focused on those age 16-24. REACH, a partnership of nearly two dozen local organizations, will host the event. For information, contact REACH Peer Advocate Becky Plant at (253)573-7592 or online at bplant@reachtacoma.org.

Employers and agencies scheduled include: Nordstrom, city of Tacoma, Safeway, Emerald Queen Casino, Volt, TacomaCommunity College, Commercial Driver Services Inc., the National Guard, Continuant, Job Corps and JCS. As many as 20 employers and agencies are expected.

REACH, Resources for Education And Career Help, is a separate agency from Goodwill and provides workforce development services for young adults 16-24. REACH is located on the first two floors of the Milgard Center.

Filed under: Business, News To Us,

October 20, 2010 at 3:58pm

Soldiers host 'trunk or treat' event

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- Soldiers and families of B and C Company, 2nd Brigade Support Battalion, 2/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team will be decorating their vehicle trunks for an evening of trunk-or-treating fun for kids and parents from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Family Resource Center, on JBLM Lewis Main.

Unit organizers are expecting more than 200 soldiers and their families to participate in the event. Kids will meander from trunk to trunk in search of Halloween treats, while Soldiers will compete for prizes for best decorated trunks with awards for silliest, scariest, most creative, and best representation of the Halloween spirit. 

This ‘Trunk or Treat' unit event is for kids of all ages, and gives the families of the brigade's support battalion a stress-free Halloween environment to visit with other spouses, for children to meet other children, and for the Soldiers and leaders to spend time with each other outside the workplace.

The C Company's Family Readiness Group (FRG) held their first ‘Trunk or Treat' event in 2009 while the unit's Soldiers were deployed. Based on the success of last year's event the FRG leaders decided to expand the event by including B Company Soldiers and family members this year.

The unit is conducting the "Trunk or Treat' event ahead of Halloween to give their Soldiers and families the opportunity to have a fun event together, and still be able to participate in traditional ‘trick-or-treating' on October 31.

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