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January 26, 2011 at 1:04pm

Strykers, Air Cav Squadron conducts air assault exercise

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), 2nd Infantry Division will conduct air assault field training on Thursday, Jan. 27 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in conjunction with aviators of the 4th Squadron, 6th Air Cavalry Regiment and the 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment (General Support).  The training will occur at 12:30 p.m.

Two CH-47 Chinooks and four UH-60 Blackhawks will execute a rapid tactical insertion of more than 90 Soldiers from Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, into territory simulating a hostile landing zone. Their mission will be to engage and capture a notional insurgent leader, whose forces can be expected to mount fierce resistance to the air assault, despite the presence of roleplayers representing civilians living in the area.

To succeed, the Soldiers of C Company will have to fight through difficult terrain, counter the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and distinguish civilians from insurgents, all while facing intense enemy fire. 

The assaulting UH-60s and CH-47s will arrive in two waves about five minutes apart, silhouetted against Mt. Rainier as they approach the landing zone from east to west.  The Stryker infantry company-organized in three platoons of about 30 Soldiers each-will exit as the aircraft land with rotors turning, and then begin consolidating in pre-attack positions along the Nisqually River.

From that point, though supported by OH-58D Kiowa Warriors scouting the skies above, nothing will be predictable for the Soldiers of Company C, as they encounter unanticipated obstacles, cross danger areas, and protect local civilians on their way to locating and capturing - or killing - the insurgent leader.

Filed under: Army News, Strykers, Training,

January 24, 2011 at 12:12pm

3rd Stryker Brigade rededicates unit memorial

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, will rededicate the Arrowhead Brigade Memorial on Wednesday, January 26, at 3 p.m., during a ceremony that will be conducted adjacent to the brigade headquarters.

The names of eight Soldiers who died during the brigade's 2009-20010 deployment to Iraq will be added to the memorial during the ceremony.

The Arrowhead Brigade Memorial is a 6-foot tall bronze statue of a Soldier in full battle gear, and the statue stands atop a granite base with panels etched with the names of fallen Soldiers. The memorial honors Arrowhead Brigade Soldiers who have fallen since the brigade's inception.

During the October 2007 ceremony at which the memorial was first unveiled, the names of 88 Soldiers assigned to the brigade who died in combat or training, as well as those from other units who died while they were under the brigade's operational control were read.

The Arrowhead Brigade Memorial project began during the 3rd Stryker Brigade's first deployment to Iraq and the memorial was dedicated following the brigade's second Iraq deployment.  3rd Stryker Brigade has deployed to Iraq three times (Nov 03-Sept 04; June 06-Sept 07; Aug 09-Aug 10).

The memorial was designed by Olympia-area sculptor Gareth Curtiss.

Filed under: Army News, Arts, Ceremony, History, Strykers,

January 21, 2011 at 4:18pm

Watch for convoys on I-5, I-90

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - With most of the Army units assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord now returned from deployment, the units have begun using the training areas at JBLM and Yakima Training Center more extensively as they prepare for future operations.  

Many units will conduct convoys to and from YTC, and we ask for the public's help to ensure those convoys are successfully completed in as safe a manner as possible.

Military convoys will generally travel on Interstate 5 and I-90 to YTC,
and convoys will be properly marked "Military Convoy Ahead."
* Civilian motorists should use caution when approaching or passing
convoys of military vehicles.  
* Civilian drivers should keep a safe distance from the convoys and not
insert themselves into the middle of a military convoy.  
* Military drivers have passed an extensive drivers training program and
are well versed in safety procedures and safety measures to include
maintaining proper intervals between vehicles, proper speed, and
rotation of drivers.  

JBLM units will conduct military convoys in groups of approximately 25 vehicles and will be on the highways during non-peak traffic hours to minimize the impact on commuters and travelers.

Beginning next week, units from JBLM's 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team will convoy to YTC for scheduled training.     

January 5, 2011 at 12:02pm

Stryker soldier court-martial case update

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -The Special Court-Martial case of U.S. vs. Cpl. Emmitt R. Quintal began at 9 a.m. this morning. Quintal is one of seven 5th Stryker Brigade Soldiers facing charges of serious misconduct while deployed in Afghanistan and is the second to face a Court-Martial.   

Cpl. Quintal's case was referred to a Special Court-Martial after the General Court-Martial Convening Authority reviewed the charges and evidence against Cpl. Quintal, and the recommendation of the Staff Judge Advocate. 

Charges against Cpl. Quintal 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 wrongfully using a schedule I controlled substance, UCMJ Article 112a
  • One specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, UCMJ Article 134
  • One specification of violating a general order, UCMJ Article 92

If convicted of all charges (and specifications), the maximum punishment Cpl. Quintal faces under Special Court-Martial sentencing is a Bad Conduct Discharge, confinement for up to twelve months, reduction in pay grade to E-1 (enlisted members only) and forfeiture of 2/3 base pay per month for a period of twelve months and/or an equivalent fine.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord officials emphasize that the charges are merely an accusation and that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Filed under: Crime, News To Us, Fort Lewis, Strykers,

December 10, 2010 at 4:58pm

Stryker soldiers' cases referred to trial

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -Two soldiers facing charges related to the 5th Stryker Brigade cases were referred to trial by the Convening Authority this week. 

The General Court-Martial Convening Authority referred court-martial charges against Spc. Corey A. Moore to a General Court-Martial.  Additionally, the General Court Martial Convening Authority referred court-martial charges against Cpl. Emmitt R. Quintal to a Special Court-Martial. 

The Commanding General, and General Court-Martial Convening Authority, Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, made his decision after reviewing the charges and evidence against Spc. Moore, the recommendation of the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority, and the recommendation of the Staff Judge Advocate.  Spc. Moore waived his right to an Article 32 Investigation. The case will now come under the control of a military judge who will arraign the accused, and set dates for potential motion hearings and the trial.  No trial date has been set as of today.

Charges against Moore 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 wrongfully using a schedule I controlled substance, UCMJ Article 112a
  • One specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, and one specification of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, UCMJ Article 134

If convicted of all charges (and specifications), Spc. Moore faces a maximum punishment of a Dishonorable Discharge, imprisonment for 11 years, 6 months, reduction in rank to the lowest enlisted grade and to forfeit all pay and allowances. 

Cpl. Quintal's case was referred to a Special Court-Martial after the General Court-Martial Convening Authority reviewed the charges and evidence against him, and the recommendation of the Staff Judge Advocate.  No trial date has been set as of today.

Charges against Cpl. Quintal 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 wrongfully using a schedule I controlled substance, UCMJ Article 112a
  • One specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, UCMJ Article 134
  • One specification of violating a general order, UCMJ Article 92

If convicted of all charges (and specifications), the maximum punishment Cpl. Quintal faces under

Special Court-Martial sentencing is a Bad Conduct Discharge, confinement for up to twelve months, reduction in pay grade to E-1 (enlisted members only) and forfeiture of 2/3 base pay per month for a period of twelve months and/or an equivalent fine.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord officials emphasize that the charges are merely an accusation and that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

December 8, 2010 at 6:50pm

Stryker soldier trial update

This from The News Tribune: Spc. Justin Stoner testified today that the beating he took at the hands of seven of his platoon mates in May sealed his decision to talk with Army investigators about drug use and other possible illegal activity in their unit.

He believes his platoon mates were trying to silence him after he asked for a transfer to another unit because he didn't want to be held accountable for their misconduct during their deployment to southern Afghanistan.

"That was their way, but obviously it didn't work too well," he said while testifying in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord court at a pretrial hearing for one of his alleged attackers, Sgt. Darren Jones.

Stoner's complaints triggered an investigation that resulted in misconduct charges against 12 of his platoon mates in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Five are accused of murdering Afghan civilians.

He said that Jones kicked and punched him at least six times on May 5 when word got out that he had spoken with a sergeant in his company about his concerns that solders were smoking hashish in his room.

To read the entire story, click here.

December 6, 2010 at 1:01pm

Stryker soldier waives hearing

This from The News Tribune: A Stryker soldier facing charges that he assaulted a private who blew the whistle on drug use in their platoon during its deployment to Afghanistan this year chose to skip a pretrial hearing scheduled for today and move on directly to a court-martial.

Spc. Corey Moore of Redondo Beach, Calif., is one of a dozen soldiers in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division who await proceedings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for alleged misconduct at Forward Operating Base Ramrod. Five of them stand accused of murdering civilians.

Moore could have used his Article 32 hearing today to gather evidence for his defense. At least two of his co-defendants have elected to waive their Article 32 hearings as well. They're focusing on negotiating plea deals with Army prosecutors.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Army News, Crime, Afghanistan, Strykers,

November 24, 2010 at 2:19pm

Article 32 hearing update

This from The News Tribune: Spc. Michael Wagnon's former roommate testified this morning that a bone the soldier kept during their recent deployment to Afghanistan came from a camel that stepped on a roadside bomb intended for their Stryker platoon.

Wagnon, 30, is accused of murdering an Afghan civilian and keeping a piece of human skull from another shooting.

The charge pertaining to the bone is among the most troubling in an Army investigation that has netted 11 other soldiers from Wagnon's platoon in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Sgt. Eric Skinner's testimony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord contradicted statements three other soldiers gave to Army investigators that indicated the bone came from an Afghan man shot by members of Wagnon's platoon in January.

For more, click here.

Filed under: Afghanistan, Crime, Army News, Strykers,

October 28, 2010 at 10:52am

Stryker platoon leader's talk to Afghan villagers recorded

This from The Washington Post/The News Tribune: Three days after they killed an Afghan cleric named Mullah Adahdad, members of a Stryker platoon from Joint Base Lewis-McChord returned to his village.

Tribal elders had complained to Army officers that the cleric had been unarmed and that the May 2 shooting was a setup. The soldiers tried to convince them otherwise.

"This guy was shot because he took an aggressive action against coalition forces," Lt. Stefan Moye, the platoon leader, explained to village residents in Qualaday, in Kandahar province. "We didn't just (expletive) come over here and just shoot him randomly. And we don't do that."

But Army charging documents now allege that's exactly what some soldiers in the platoon did. According to the documents, the cleric's death culminated a monthslong conspiracy in which members of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division randomly targeted and killed three unarmed Afghan men, dismembered corpses and posed for grisly photographs with their victims.

To read the complete story, click here.

Filed under: Army News, Crime, Strykers, Afghanistan,

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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