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Archives: Oct. 2010

Oct.
21st

Photo of dead Afghan brought as evidence at Army hearing

News Tribune military reporter Adam Ashton is in an Army courtroom today and filed this update:

Today’s pre-trial hearing for Staff Sgt. David Bram at Joint Base Lewis-McChord drew out a description of one of the photographs the Army is concealing as it investigates alleged war crimes Stryker soldiers committed in Afghanistan.

Capt. Dre Leblanc, a military prosecutor, said Bram is seen in the image smiling with a dead Afghan and platoon leader Lt. Roman Ligsay. That image was reviewed today as an investigating officer weighed charges against Bram.

“You look at what he’s doing,” Leblanc said. “It’s clear

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Oct.
21st

Accused Stryker soldiers learned identity of whistleblower from higher ups

News Tribune military reporter Adam Ashton is in an Army courtroom today and filed this update:

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord platoon sergeant this morning described a frenetic environment at his base in Afghanistan earlier this year once accusations mounted about drug use and possible civilian killings in his Stryker unit.

“It was chaos,” Sgt. First Class Jason Ditmer said. He was a platoon sergeant in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. A dozen of his soldiers now stand accused of various crimes they allegedly committed in Southern Afghanistan earlier this year. Five face charges that they murdered civilians.

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Oct.
20th

Army sets hearing for soldier accused of assaulting whistleblower

A Stryker soldier who allegedly beat up a private during their deployment in southern Afghanistan will appear before an Army investigating officer Thursday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a hearing that will help determine whether he goes to a court martial trial.

Staff Sgt. David Bram, 27, of Vacaville, Calif., faces charges that he joined an assault on Pfc. Justin Stoner that was intended to keep Stoner from speaking to superior officers about drug use at Forward Operating Base Ramrod.

Bram is among a dozen soldiers in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division who stand accused of a mix of

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Oct.
20th

Widows join homecoming ceremony at Lewis-McChord for artillery battalion

Ann Mora and Misty Bauer carried a heavy weight when they awoke early Wednesday to attend a homecoming celebration for their husbands’ artillery company.

Their husbands’ fellow artillerymen wanted to help them lift it.

Their husbands – Staff Sgt. Conrad Mora and Spc. Joseph Bauer – were killed July 24 by a roadside bomb. The blast also killed two more of their comrades, Sgt. Daniel Lim and Spc. Andrew Hand.

Ann Mora and Misty Bauer stood in for their husbands when their unit came home for good from its yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. They joined hundreds of other family members

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Oct.
19th

Artillery, intelligence units to celebrate homecomings at Lewis-McChord

Two units at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are celebrating their return to stateside life tomorrow.

The day starts early with about 130 artillerymen coming home from Afghanistan. They’re expected to begin meeting their families at 7:30 a.m. at Soldiers Field House. These soldiers belong to the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade.

Most of their bridage went to Iraq last year, and has returned home. Two companies composed of about 250 artilleryment deployed to Afghanistan, and were stationed at airfields in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan. Four soldiers in the Afghanistan deployment were killed in July.

Also Wednesday,

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Oct.
15th

Accused Afghan civilian killer will go to full Army trial

Spc. Jeremy Morlock, the first accused Afghanistan civilian killer to face charges in a military courtroom so far, will go to a full court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and could face life in prison without possibility of parole.

The joint base announced today that the commanding general, Maj. Gen. John Johnson, decided this week to move forward with the case against Morlock after reviewing the charges and evidence and after considering the recommendation of the brigade commander, Col. Barry Huggins, as well as that of the Staff Judge Advocate.

It was one of the last decisions that Johnson made as

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Oct.
14th

CNN airs photos of bruised whistleblower who led Army to “rogue” platoon

CNN reports tonight that the Army put the brakes an interview it had planned with Pfc. Justin Stoner, the soldier known as the whistleblower who led investigators to a “rogue” platoon that allegedly carried out intentional civilian killings in Southern Afghanistan.

The Army gave CNN two accounts about why Stoner is being kept silent while 12 soldiers await trials for alleged wrongdoing during their recent deployment with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

The first came from Capt. Ernesto Gapasin Jr., an Army lawyer.

“About two hours ago, prosecutors and I met re [regarding] the disposition

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Oct.
13th

New Lewis-McChord general to take the lead this week

The next commanding general at Joint Base Lewis-McChord officially takes his new post this week.

Maj. Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti will take the lead Friday at an assumption of command ceremony that marks the end of Maj. Gen. John Johnson’s leadership of the Army I Corps at Lewis-McChord. Scaparrotti recently led the 82nd Airborne Division on its deployment to Afghanistan.

He told his hometown newspaper earlier this month that he was excited to lead a joint base and the “exceptional” units at Lewis-McChord.

“I’m honored,” Scaparrotti told the Logan (Ohio) Daily News. “It’s a real honor and a privilege

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