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Archives: July 2008


Fort Lewis 1st Sergeant is Army Times Soldier of the Year

1st Sgt. William C. Harlan, a wounded, three-tour combat vet from Lakewood, is the Army Times Soldier of the Year. Read all about him here.

Harlan was wounded in March 2006 in Mosul while serving with the old 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Alaska. He recovered at Madigan Army Medical Center and is credited with playing a leading role in the establishment of the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Lewis. Now that he is recovered, he is soon to take on the role as top sergeant at Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 9th

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Another round of protests at Port of Tacoma?

A Stryker armored vehicle rolls down the ramp of the USNS Brittin at the Port of Tacoma on Wednesday. It’s one of an estimated 900 Strykers, Humvees, trucks and other vehicles back from the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division’s nearly 15-month deployment in Iraq.

Photo: Russ Carmack/The News Tribune

Local authorities are bracing for a repeat of the March 2007 demonstrations that accompanied the departure of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division’s rolling stock for its combat deployment

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Chiefs and Sergeants Major picnic Saturday

The Washington state chapter of the Retired Sergeants Major and Chiefs Association has its annual picnic 1 p.m. Saturday at the McChord Air Force Base Holiday Park pavilion. E-9s from all services and their families are invited. It’s a potluck.

For more information, call retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bob Sova at 360-556-2583, Sgt. Maj. Sid Katz at 253-230-0615 or Sgt. Maj. Harry Schreiber at 253-661-9064.


Number of deployed Fort Lewis troops down to about 2,000

With the imminent return of the 54th Military Police Company, the number of Fort Lewis troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan is down to about 2,000,* according to post officials.

I can’t swear to it but I’m pretty sure that’s fewer than at any time since the early days following the March 2003 invasion.

Here’s who is still over there.

In Iraq: 51st Military Police Company; 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Squadron; 62nd Medical Brigade headquarters; 504th Military Intelligence Battalion; 514th Medical Company; 547th Medical Company; 9th Finance Detachment; 102nd Forward Surgical Team; 551st Medical Company; 153rd Medical

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More Fort Lewis MPs due home late tonight

Another 140 military police soldiers are coming home to Fort Lewis after a long tour in Iraq.

The post says soldiers of the 54th Military Police Company are coming in late tonight and will be welcomed home by their families in a ceremony in the wee hours Wednesday.

The company went to Baghdad in May 2007 and spent the past 15 months training and mentoring Iraqi police. The unit made news a couple months ago when they arrested eight of their counterparts on suspicion of participating in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.


Fort Lewis captain pleads guilty to smuggling

An Army captain from Fort Lewis pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge that he purposely mislabeled customs forms to illegally ship firearms sights to persons in Japan.

Capt. Tomoaki Iishiba, 34, of Dupont pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to a single count of conspiracy to smuggle goods from the United States.

Federal prosecutors and Iishiba’s attorney agreed that “the defendant did not intend to threaten a security or foreign policy interest of the United States and that defendant’s conduct did not constitute such a threat,” according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.

In exchange for his plea prosecutors will ask U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman to sentence Iishiba to three years probation. The maximum penalty is five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 7.

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Change of command at Madigan

A nurse who treated victims of one of the Army’s worst air disasters and at the Pentagon on Sept. 11 took command Thursday at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Maj. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho comes to Madigan after 15 months as commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System. She was also promoted earlier this month to command the Army Nurse Corps, a job she’ll keep in her new post at Fort Lewis.

Horoho succeeds Brig. Gen. Sheila Baxter, who led Madigan the past three years. The past year she oversaw sweeping changes aimed at improving care for wounded and injured soldiers and their families.

Baxter is retiring and plans to pursue a master’s degree in divinity studies at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

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Washington National Guard Black Hawks home Saturday

About 80 soldiers from the Washington National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 140th Aviation Regiment will be welcomed home 10 a.m. Saturday at Fort Lewis after a year-long deployment in Iraq, the Guard said. The ceremony will be held in Soldiers Field House.

The squadron’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilots, crew members and maintainers performed “air assault operations, tactical air movements and support missions” across Iraq, the Guard said in a press release.

The unit is part of the Washington Guard’s 66th Theater Aviation Command based at Fort Lewis.