FOB Tacoma

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Archives: June 2011

June
17th

Convicted “kill team” soldier sought Palin’s help in getting a new Army job

A Stryker soldier who pleaded guilty to murdering three Afghan civilians last year once sought help in getting a new Army assignment from a family friend – former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Spc. Jeremy Morlock grew up in Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska. Their families have been reported to be friendly with each other in the past.

An Alaska blogger scouring a trove of Palin’s emails spotted Morlock’s August 2007 plea for assistance in leaving his unit at Fort Lewis for an assignment closer to home. Morlock’s father had just died and he was

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June
17th

Three soldiers discharged for joining fraud ring; more could follow

Three Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers who participated in a fraud ring that swindled $3.5 million from an Ohio bank have been discharged from the Army.

They’re among 78 soldiers who the Army believes benefited in some way from a scheme to bilk entities including the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Tacoma Public Utilities.

Most of the money went to civilians. About $600,000 can be traced to service members, Army spokesman Chris Ophardt said.

So far, the Army has disciplined 23 soldiers for relatively minor fraud without pressing charges against them in courts-martial.

Pierce County prosecutors last month charged

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June
16th

JBLM’s new Army aviation brigade taking shape

The Fairbanks Daily Miner today covered an unusual deployment ceremony at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Two hundred soldiers in an Army aviation unit left for an eight-month mission in Afghanistan while their leadership prepared to move to Joint Base  Lewis-McChord.

The 16th Aviation Brigade’s parting ways reflects the latest growth at Lewis-McChord. Its headquarters is to be stationed at the base south of Tacoma, while several of its subordinate units will remain in Alaska.

About 600 Army aviators currently stationed at Lewis-McChord will join the brigade, while 1,400 new soldiers will come to the South Sound base.

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June
15th

Third “kill team” defendant asks to get out of jail

A third Stryker soldier facing charges that he murdered an Afghan civilian last year asked an Army judge on Wednesday to release him from a jail at Joint Base Lewis-McChord before his September trial.

Two of Spc. Adam Winfield’s codefendants who allegedly committed similar crimes during their deployment with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division have been released.* The Army alleges the soldiers were part of a five-person “kill team” that murdered three Afghans for sport during patrols.

Winfield’s mother told Army Judge Kwasi Hawks that her family is ready to move to Tacoma from Cape Coral, Fla., to support

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June
15th

Lewis-McChord MPs headed home from Afghanistan

About 200 Joint Base Lewis-McChord military police officers are on their way home  from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

The soldiers from the 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade are scheduled to come home in two waves Thursday and Friday. About 140 are to arrive at Lewis-McChord’s Soldiers Field House Thursday, with the remainder getting back to their stateside lives Friday morning.

The Lewis-McChord soldiers were based in Kandahar, where they were tasked with training Afghan police, providing security in southern Afghanistan and supporting Afghan leaders. They also helped refurbish 29 schools with new stoves, windows, furniture and

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June
14th

More apps on the way to help soldiers cope with PTSD and TBI

A Pentagon research lab at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is putting more apps in the pockets of service members coping with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.

The latest product from the National Center for Telehealth and Technology features breathing exercises intended to help people manage anxiety and steady their moods. It’s called Breathe2Relax, and it’s available for iPhone users. An Android version is due to come out next month.

“Breathe2Relax helps with one of the most common effects of PTSD,” said Perry Bosmajian, the psychologist who led the application’s development. “It’s a tool that’s continually available to anyone who

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June
13th

County council puts tax for military families on hold

The Pierce County Council and the United Way are putting the brakes on a proposal to fund social services for military families with a new property tax.

The measure would’ve asked voters in November to pony up more than $3 million a year to build up services for active-duty military families ranging from childcare to mental health clinics. It will not make the ballot this year, two council members said today.

County council members who gave the proposal a public hearing in May now say it needs more study to determine whether local government should have a role in funding

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June
9th

Top soldier, NCO awards announced at Lewis-McChord

The winners of the I Corps non-commissioned officer and soldier of the year awards at Joint Base Lewis-McChord were announced Thursday.

The announcement came after three days of competition. According to a news release from the base:

The top non-commissioned officer for 2011 is Sgt. Haidang H. Le of Company B, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 2nd
Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The winning soldier is Spc. Anthony A. Wooley of the 595th Military Police Company, 508th Military Police Battalion, 42nd MP Brigade.

Le, of San Diego, and Wooley, of Homestead, Fla., competed against NCOs and soldiers from nearly a

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