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Archives: Feb. 2011


Pols embrace Washington’s military, cite Pentagon’s $8b impact on state’s economy

Washington’s military brass got a warm embrace from the state’s cities Wednesday when an association of local governments signed a “community covenant” affirming their support for the armed forces.

The covenant doesn’t bind local governments to any specific initiatives. It’s a gesture of goodwill honoring the more than 66,000 members of the military stationed in Washington.

“They are our neighbors, they are our parents, our brothers, our friends,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire, who signed the covenant at a conference in Olympia for the Association of Washington Cities.

Rising military spending in the state contrasted with the budget gloom facing the

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Deputy commanding general at JBLM to earn his second star

The general who will rank as the senior Army officer at Joint Base Lewis-McChord when the I Corps deploys to Afghanistan this summer is set to earn his second star.

Brig. Gen. Lloyd “Milo” Miles is scheduled to be promoted to major general during a ceremony at the base tomorrow. He’s Lewis-McChord’s deputy commanding general.

Miles is expected to lead the base while his commander, Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, serves in Afghanistan later this year, Army spokeswoman Kathy Turner said.

Miles is a West Point graduate who was commissioned into the Army in 1980. He served in Iraq as the

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Greener skies over McChord: Air Force clears C-17 fleet to start using biofuels

The Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes gliding over Tacoma on their way to McChord Air Field might soon give off a faint scent of cooking oil.

The Air Force last week certified the C-17 to fly with a 50-50 blend of jet fuel and biofuels. It’s the first Air Force plane to get the green light to use the blend.

“This marks a significant achievement for the Air Force, our alternative fuel certification office and our partners in both industry and across the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Kevin Geiss, the deputy assistant secretary of the

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Lacey baby shower just in time for surge in births at Madigan

Here’s one sign that a post-deployment baby boomlet is on its way to Madigan Army Medical Center: A baby shower in Lacey that aims to give gifts to expecting military moms and dads is out of room for more participants.

Operation Baby Shower is taking place Sunday at Saint Martins University from 1 to 5 p.m.

Supporters have been gathering gifts for more than a month. They want to give one item to each family.

Last year, Joint Base Lewis-McChord was in the midst of its biggest-ever deployment. More than 18,000 soldiers who served in the Iraq and

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Lawyer for alleged Afghan killer wants to visit crime scene

Defense attorneys representing one of the Stryker soldiers accused of murdering an Afghan civilian last year intend to visit the scene of the crime to gather evidence they say the Army neglected to collect.

The trip to Afghanistan could push back Spc. Michael Wagnon’s court-martial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which today was scheduled for May 23.

Wagnon, 30, is charged with participating in a February 2010 murder during a patrol in southern Afghanistan. The Army argues that Wagnon knew the killing was staged by one of his comrades, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs. Wagnon says he shot his rifle because he

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UW doctor working with Army to rethink pain treatment for veterans

A push to rethink pain treatment for soldiers and veterans aims for fewer pill prescriptions and a varied approach to easing chronic suffering among patients at Madigan Army Medical Center.
The hospital south of Tacoma last week hosted a summit to spread the word, building on a pain reduction initiative from the Army Surgeon General.
The forum followed the Army’s disclosure of a report that said up to 35 percent of wounded soldiers in so-called warrior transition units are dependent on prescription and illegal drugs.
Alex Cahana, director of the

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Former Fort Lewis major pleads guilty to stealing money from Iraq reconstruction fund

An Army major formerly stationed at Fort Lewis today pled guilty to laundering more than $47,000 that was supposed to be spent on humanitarian and reconstruction projects in Iraq, federal prosecutors announced.

Kevin Schrock, 40, of Bradenburg, Ky. faces up to 20 years in prison and is expected to be sentenced in June. He also must repay $47,461 to the federal government.

Schrock, now stationed at Fort Knox, Ky., stole money from his unit’s Commanders Emergency Relief Program while he was deployed to Mosul, Iraq with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division from September 2004 to September 2005.

That fund

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Air Force honors Lewis-McChord’s reserve airlift wing

Reserve airmen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week got a big pat on the back from the Air Force.

The 446th Airlift Wing won the Air Force’s Meritorious Unit Award, recognizing its performance flying combat and peacetime missions between 2008 and 2010.

The wing flew more than 9,700 missions in that period to 11 different airfields in Iraq. The Air Force said that marked a 30 percent increase over the previous two years.

The wing over that period also deployed civil engineer and security squadrons that helped defend bases in Iraq. Its mortuary affairs team deployed to Dover Air Force

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