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May 20, 2013 at 10:28am

7th ID Bayonet Week update

Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, pose before the Bayonet Ultimate Strength Competition. Photo courtesy of Facebook

As you know the 7th Infantry Division is championing the theme of "Resilience Through Fitness" by hosting Bayonet Week May 18-23. It's not so much poking each other with bayonets, but rather units competing in events ranging from golf and combatives to dodge ball and a gaming tournament.

According to the official Bayonet Week website, the 2-2 SBCT has already taken the lead with a victory on Eagle Pride Golf Course.

Below are voting results of a pre-tournament survey predicting the winner of Bayonet Week. So far it looks as if the prediction might be true.

May 5, 2013 at 11:54am

Batteries of the Steel Battalion vs. M777 Howitzer

Spc. Nicholas Davis, gunner, 2-17 FA, readies the M777 Howitzer on the firing line during a live fire training exercise on Joint Base Lewis-McChord May 2. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. David Chapman

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Gun tubes flamed and the ground rumbled here May 2 as field artillery soldiers dusted off their howitzers that had laid dormant for a year, to sharpen their skills and complete their annual certification.

The artillerymen of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, conducted a live-fire training exercise that tested not only those experienced with the unit's weapon of choice, the M777 Howitzer, but also those who had not fired the gun in a real training environment.

This twice-a-year firing exercise requirement will certify the unit to use the M777.

However, the training began a week earlier with basic artillerymen skills, gunner tasks and the Artillery Skills Proficiency Test.


April 6, 2012 at 8:50am

Lancers set for deployment

Colonel Barry Huggins, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division commander, told Joint Base Lewis-McChord his "Lancer" Brigade will defend America far from her shores and return with honor in remarks at Watkins Field last week. His speech highlighted a morning colors-casing ceremony for approximately 4,000 Lancer Brigade Soldiers who will deploy to Afghanistan in upcoming weeks.

Troops from 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. will join approximately 4,000 fellow JBLM troops in Afghanistan, most from 3rd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div.

Fifth Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division redeployed from Afghanistan and reflagged as 2nd Bde., 2nd Inf. Div. in July 2010.

Last February, Huggins said the team expected to deploy for nine months to fight terrorist groups and support Afghan National Security Forces to relieve pressure on dedicated coalition training teams.

Huggins said in his speech March 30, regardless of the road ahead, the Lancers were thankful.

"Decades ago, my father served in Vietnam," he said. "When he came home he arrived alone and he was greeted with silence or worse. Today being a Soldier is very different. When we make our way through the airport it's impossible not to be stopped and thanked."

Huggins went on to thank service members, their families, and civilians throughout JBLM and the South Sound for supporting his brigade since their last return.

Soldiers from the brigade's six battalions and headquarters company, undeterred by recent international incidents, said high professionalism remains a standard across the "Lancer" ranks.

"We're definitely ready," Capt. Jeffery Wollenman, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment fire support officer, said. "I've been with the battalion for about a year. We're a professional organization with good leadership from the top, all the way down to the bottom."

Though the Lancers' colors will be new to the Afghan area of operations, many of the Soldiers who carry it are already battle tested. Almost 40 percent of those deploying with 2nd Bde. this spring have had Afghan mission experience and more than a third have deployed to Iraq.

Though Sgt. 1st Class Raul Cantu arrived five months ago at 2-1 Inf., the platoon sergeant is one of the battalion's seasoned leaders; this will be his fourth deployment and his second to Afghanistan. He said Afghanistan's lack of modern roads, streets and bridges one of its fundamental differences from Iraq.

"When people think of Iraq, they may not realize how developed it is. They have a lot more infrastructure and a lot of the things they have there, we have here," Cantu said. "Afghanistan is a lot less developed. It's very rural and rugged."

As a married Soldier with two children, Cantu said he recognized his wife, Mari, who will experience her first deployment this spring, and the other Lancer Families will have a lot on their shoulders in 2012.

"I told her she had the most important job of all," he said. "It's a difficult time for us as a Family, but we're strong - we'll get through it."

He also said most American people might be surprised to find they have more in common with most Iraqis and Afghans than they realize.

"Most of the people I've come across just want to work and provide for their families," he said. "The farmers go out to the fields, work hard to put food on the table, then come home to spend time with their families - much like us."

June 4, 2010 at 4:42pm

Soldier charged with premeditated murder in Afghan deaths

Charges were preferred today against a soldier who is accused in the deaths of three Afghan civilians.

Charges against Specialist Jeremy Morlock include: three specifications of murder under Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 118 - Premeditated Murder; one specification of assault under Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 128, Assault.
JBLM officials emphasize that the charges constitute an accusation and that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Morlock, 22, from Wasilla, Alaska, is an infantryman assigned to B Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. He entered the military in June 2006 and reported to JBLM in December 2006, after receiving initial entry training and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga.

Morlock deployed in July 2009 with his unit in support of Operation
Enduring Freedom. He redeployed on June 3, and was placed in pre-trial
confinement. This was his only deployment.

Jurisdiction of Morlock's case was passed to JBLM upon his redeployment.

Criminal Investigation Command officials are continuing their
investigation into the case.

Filed under: Afghanistan, Crime, Infantry, Strykers,

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