FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved FOB Tacoma.
Visit the new section.

Archives: Jan. 2009

Jan.
30th

Wanted: Psychotherapists to work with service members

The Soldiers Project NW has put out an open call for licensed mental health counselors in private practice who want to volunteer their time to work with troops returning from or serving in Iraq or Afghanistan and their loved ones.


Organizers are holding a meeting on Feb. 12 for therapists to learn about the project and learn about specific health issues related to the service members and their families (including parents, children, spouses and significant others).


The project, which started in Western Washington in February 2008, is a group of psychotherapists from various disciplines who volunteer at least

Read more »

Jan.
30th

It is Tomahawk time for Huskies softball team

The University of Washington softball team will be at Fort Lewis on Saturday to learn about leadership and team-building from an infantry battalion preparing for its third deployment to Iraq.


The Huskies will be paired with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment – a unit of the 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division – to "conduct team-building exercises and to

establish esprit de corps," according to a Fort Lewis release.


But an informal boot camp this is not: "Afternoon activities will involve timed team building events requiring good communication and more

Read more »

Jan.
30th

Flying hero, 87, receives Distinguished Flying Cross

Story by the Bellingham Herald’s Zoe Fraley. Photos by The News Tribune’s Janet Jensen:

For three months, Joe Moser lived a nightmare.

Shot down over France on Aug. 13, 1944, during his 44th mission of World War II, the fighter pilot was captured by the Germans and taken to Buchenwald concentration camp.

He was transferred to a prisoner of war camp Oct. 20, 1944, just four days before he was scheduled to be executed.

On Thursday, the 87-year-old Moser got to close the door on that painful chapter of his life as he accepted the Distinguished Flying Cross at McChord Air Force Base’s annual awards banquet. Two former members of his Army Air Corps squadron were to escort Moser on stage.

"I guess I’d say it fulfills my dreams," he said, "that all I went through has turned out really fantastic now."

Moser didn’t realize he was eligible for the award until 10 years ago at a reunion for his squadron. He just got word a week ago that he would finally receive the award for a bombing mission in his P-38 Lightning aircraft.

"It’s been a long wait, and I’m sure happy for him that he’s finally getting it, after 64 years," said his wife, Jean. "I thought he deserved it after all he went through."

Read more »

Jan.
29th

Mortars and C4 can get loud

Fort Lewis soldiers will be firing mortars and blowing stuff up around post through next week.


The post announced that soldiers will be firing 60mm, 81mm and 120mm mortars during the day and night until Sunday. And they’ll be exploding C4 and other explosives next Tuesday through Thursday.

Jan.
29th

Puget Sound USO receives top rating

The USO Puget Sound Area helps hundreds of thousands of people each year, and the organization received its due recognition Thursday.


The organization – which runs only with the hard work of more than 250 volunteers – received a five-star standards of excellence rating from the parent USO.


The rating is based on a review of the organization’s operations, services, volunteer program and community outreach.


"This award represents the gold standard for non-profit organizations and I am extremely proud of our staff and volunteers who work with such dedication, making

Read more »

Jan.
29th

E. Washington man among four soldiers killed in crash

A 29-year-old Colville man was among four soldiers killed Monday when two OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters crashed in Kirkuk, Iraq.


Chief Warrant Officer Benjamin H. Todd, 29, was serving in Iraq with the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment – a unit of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, N.Y.


Also killed was 31-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Joshua Tillery of Beaverton, Ore.


The military said the crashed don’t appear to be caused by enemy fire. The accident is under investigation.


Todd, who is survived by

Read more »

Jan.
28th

AP: Strykers could head to Afghanistan

UPDATE: I’m bumping this up because it’s been a big talker, and I want to keep the conversation going.

A Stryker brigade could receive orders this month to deploy to Afghanistan, the Associated Press reports.

The story focuses on how the new Obama administration and Defense Secretary Robert Gates will handle increasing troop levels in Iraq. More Marines are expected to go, but the story makes it clear a Stryker brigade isn’t a certainty.

From the story: "Their challenge, however, is to get troops out into the hundreds of tiny villages in the volatile southern region, where the Taliban insurgency has been centered. To do that, Gen. David McKiernan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has asked for more mobile forces and believes the Strykers will allow soldiers to move more easily along the rugged trails to the widely dispersed tribal enclaves."

But, the story points out, “Army officials have concerns about how to free up the Stryker unit.”

Two Fort Lewis Stryker brigades are scheduled to deploy to Iraq this year. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division will leave in early- to mid-summer. 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is expected to follow by summertime.

The use of Strykers in Afghanistan isn’t totally new. The Canadians have used the LAV III, which has the same chassis as the Stryker, with success. And Fort Lewis’ 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment have used them there — but the typically mediaphobic unit won’t discuss it.

We’re interested in hearing your take. Have you served in Afghanistan and with a Stryker unit in Iraq? Are you one of the Rangers that have used the vehicle in Afghanistan? A Canadian soldier with experience in the LAV? Shoot me an e-mail.

Click below to read the full AP story.

Read more »

Jan.
28th

Iraq/Afghanistan war memorial coming to Capitol Campus?

A bill introduced in the state House of Representatives could be the first step to adding to the capitol campus a memorial to Washington service members killed or declared missing in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The measure, which has 38 co-sponsors, directs the State Department of Veterans Affairs to coordinate the design, construction and placement of the memorial. And it sets up an account with the treasurer’s office for private donations. But there aren’t many more details, such as the memorial’s proposed cost or a timeline for creation.


And as of right now, there isn’t a

Read more »