FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

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

Archives: Feb. 2010


Washington Guardsman dies from Iraq injury

A Washington National Guard soldier from Tacoma who chose to stay in Iraq after his unit returned home died Wednesday in an American military hospital in Germany.

Sgt. William Spencer, 40, was injured in Iraq and evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The injury was not combat related, according to a National Guard press release.

A Pentagon press release said Spencer died “while supporting combat operations at Combat Outpost Marez” in the northern city of Mosul.

Spencer deployed with the 81st Brigade Combat Team in August 2009 and chose to stay with the Mississippi National Guard unit that replaced

Read more »


Saddam’s AK heading back to Iraq

Remember that pearl-handled AK-47 that once belonged to Saddam Hussein that found its way to Fort Lewis (with some stops in between)?

It’s going back to the Iraqis.

According to CNN, it’s just one of more than a thousand artifacts that were taken as war trophies that were turned over during a ceremony at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington.

Here’s the gun’s description from the story:

An AK-47 with Saddam Hussein’s image, an example of a special firearm handed out by Hussein to members and backers of his ruling Baath Party. The weapon was recovered in the

Read more »


Bill aims to help military families

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith wants to expand the federal law covering illnesses and injuries to include up to two weeks of unpaid leave for family members of deployed service members.

The Tacoma Democrat, testifying Thursday before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, said his bill would allow time off for the spouses, children and parents of any member of the armed forces who is deployed or mobilized for active duty or returning from a combat zone with an injury.

“It’s a complex problem,” he said, “and the needs of the families crop up in ways that surprise us as policymakers.”

It’s an expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was amended in 2008 to allow military families to take time because of deployments. But a family member must work for the same employer for more than a year, he or she must work more than 1,250 hours in the past year and that company must have more than 50 employees for an individual to qualify under the current law.

Military family members sometime fail to meet those requirements because they move frequently, Smith testified. The proposed legislation would cover those who don’t qualify.
Read more »


Local links, Feb. 26

The Olympian carried a brief today about an event next week dubbed Religion in Wartime. It’ll take place at The Evergreen State College and features some local military names, including James Yee, the former Fort Lewis chaplain who later served at Gitmo and was accused of spying and espionage. (He was later cleared and previously has had some unfriendly things to say about the military’s tolerance of Islam.)

Capt. Kelly Hansen, a chaplain at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will also be there. She deployed in 2008-09 with the Washington National Guard’s 81st Brigade Combat Team.

Other local links:

24th Quartermaster

Read more »


More protection for Strykers

It won’t help Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s three Stryker brigades deployed overseas now, but the Army is considering

outfitting the Stryker vehicle with a V-shaped hull that would help deflect blasts. It would provide similar protection to the Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected Vehicles, which have been credited with saving plenty of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the Army Times story:

The changes were already planned as part the Stryker modernization program and are scheduled to be cut into the production line in 2015 and 2016. After several Strykers were damaged in Afghanistan, vehicle maker General Dynamics

Read more »


Congressional testimony

The folks at U.S. Rep. Adam Smith’s office sent along this YouTube clip of the congressman testifying in favor of his proposed Military Family Leave Act, which, according to the press release, “provide(s) two weeks of unpaid leave to the spouse, children, or parents of a member of the military who receives notification of deployment or is currently deployed. ”


Local links, Feb. 25

Here are today’s offerings:

3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Aid Drop [DVIDS]

4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Humanitarian Aid Given Out [DVIDS]

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Soldiers Dismount Vehicles [DVIDS]

I Corps
I Corps Farewell Run

17th Fires Brigade
Joint Patrol [DVIDS]
Night Operations [DVIDS]
Security Patrol [DVIDS]