FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

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

Archives: March 2011

March
24th

Despite guilty plea, Morlock’s testimony shows it’s not clear who killed Afghans

Spc. Jeremy Morlock yesterday admitted he helped kill three Afghan civilians last year, but he couldn’t say for sure if his weapons caused their deaths.

He still said he was guilty, though, because he conspired to kill the noncombatants and created situations that led to their deaths.

Attorneys for his codefendants in a war crimes investigation unfolding at Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been hammering the Army for not producing conclusive evidence that would show which soldiers are responsible for murdering the Afghans. Some defense teams are trying to get to Afghanistan to visit the scenes of the killings to gather

Read more »

March
23rd

Witness testifies Stryker brigade was ‘dysfunctional’

News Tribune military writer Adam Ashton gives this final update from a local military courtroom. Read full coverage in Thursday’s News Tribune.

An investigation into the command of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade said its top leader should have been removed before the brigade deployed to Afghanistan in July 2009, according to a sociologist who read the document and gave testimony in a Lewis-McChord courtroom today.

“The brigade was dysfunctional,” said Texas A&M professor Stjepan Mestrovic, who read the report. He testified on behalf of Spc. Jeremy Morlock, who pleaded guilty today to murdering three Afghan civilians during his

Read more »

March
23rd

Most of platoon knew of murder plot, admitted killer claims

News Tribune military writer Adam Ashton reports today from a Joint Base Lewis-McChord courtroom:

A Stryker soldier today pleaded guilty to murdering three Afghan civilians last year and he painted a damning picture of a platoon rife with misconduct.

Spc. Jeremy Morlock, 23, is awaiting his sentence in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord court. He signed a pre-trial agreement that caps his sentence at 24 years and requires him to testify against four platoon mates who also are accused of murder.

More than 20 friends and relatives packed the courtroom. His mother and uncle are expected to testify today

Read more »

March
23rd

JBLM soldier pleads guilty to murder, conspiracy in killings of 3 Afghan civilians

Spc. Jeremy Morlock, a Stryker soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, pleaded guilty today to murder and conspiracy in killings of three unarmed Afghan civilians.

As Adam Ashton reported today, Morlock reached a plea deal that calls on him to testify against four co-defendants who also face murder charges.

Morlock’s mother and an uncle are expected to serve as character witnesses at the court-martial at Lewis-McChord.

This is a developing story. We will post more information as soon as it’s available.

March
23rd

Accused soldier-murderer calls family as character witnesses

News Tribune military writer Adam Ashton gives this update from a Joint Base Lewis-McChord courtroom. Watch for more updates during the day.

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of murdering three Afghan civilians last year is calling on his mother and uncle to testify on his behalf as his court-martial gets under way this morning.

Spc. Jeremy Morlock has reached a plea deal that calls on him to testify against four codefendants who also face murder charges. That agreement caps his sentence at 24 years, but character witnesses could help him gain some clemency.

More than 20 news

Read more »

March
22nd

Former Federal Way student killed in Iraq attack

Cpl. Brandon S. Hocking, a former student of Federal Way schools, was killed Monday in Iraq when his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device.

Hocking, 24, grew up in Federal Way and attended Sacajawea Middle School and Decatur High School. He joined the Army in November 2005 and listed Seattle as his hometown, according to Army records.

He was assigned to the 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, Ga.

His current deployment was his second overseas. A spokeswoman at Fort Stewart said Hocking was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star

Read more »

March
22nd

Photos of Stryker soldiers posing with Afghan casualties reverberate worldwide

Photos of Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker soldiers posing with Afghan casualties are circulating around the globe, but they haven’t yet triggered a reaction from the Afghan government or widespread condemnation from American allies.

That could be because the world’s attention remains fixed on tsunami-ravaged Japan and developments in Libya’s revolt. It also reflects the message the Army has sent over the past 10 months by moving to prosecute soldiers linked to the images.

The Army has kept a tight lid on the photos since investigators learned of them in May, when it ordered soldiers in the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry

Read more »

March
21st

“Kill team” photos online now; damage control already under way

The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel published three disquieting photos of Afghan corpses on its website today, two of which show soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord posing with a bloodied dead body.

The photos are published here. They were altered at some point to obscure the heads of the Afghan men. Still, they are disturbing to view.

The photos were released the same week that one of the pictured soldiers, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, is scheduled to go to a court martial at Lewis-McChord on charges including premeditated murder of noncombatants while deployed with his Stryker Brigade in Afghanistan early

Read more »