FOB Tacoma

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Archives: Aug. 2011

Aug.
30th

Stryker sergeant to face court-martial in “kill team” investigation

The Army is moving forward with most of the charges it pressed against a Joint Base Lewis-McChord sergeant linked to its Stryker “kill team” investigation despite a July report that expressed skepticism about the soldier’s guilt.

The decision means that Staff Sgt. David Bram, 27, of Vacaville, Calif. will face a general court-martial on charges that he asked a fellow soldier to kill Afghans in combat-like scenarios, abused detainees and assaulted a subordinate who blew the whistle on drug use in their platoon.

Bram has been a suspect linked to a group of five 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division soldiers

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Aug.
30th

Seattle nonprofit hosts career day for South Sound veterans Friday at Cheney Stadium

South Sound veterans and service members can scope out the labor market Friday at a Hire America’s Heroes career day at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

The Seattle-based group aims to connect vets with work in the private sector once they’ve decided to leave the military. It’s bringing Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Boeing, Puget Sound Energy, Starbucks and a mix of other companies to the Tacoma baseball stadium.

The event is free to service members and early birds can pick up free tickets to Friday night’s Tacoma Rainiers game. You can register for the event here.

Hire America’s Heroes has

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Aug.
27th

Ranger’s widow ejected from Rumsfeld book signing

Reporter Jordan Schrader, working on The News Tribune’s local news desk Saturday, reports:

Two people were removed from Friday’s Donald Rumsfeld book signing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, including the Yelm widow of an Army Ranger who blames the military for her husband’s suicide.

Security officers for the former secretary of defense escorted Ashley Joppa-Hagemann out by the arm, she said this evening. She and Jorge Gonzalez, the executive director of Coffee Strong, a Lakewood-based anti-war group that links soldiers with benefits and counseling, confronted Rumsfeld as he promoted his memoir, “Known and Unknown.”

According to an account posted today

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Aug.
26th

JBLM Stryker brigade deploying to Afghanistan in December

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade will deploy to Afghanistan this December, the Pentagon announced today.

The 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division has about 3,200 soldiers and it most recently deployed to Iraq in 2009-10.

Its soldiers are training for their mission this month in Southern California at Fort Irwin.

Its leadership earlier this year had been preparing for so-called “full spectrum” operations, meaning they were training for traditional warfare against another developed military because they did not have clear plans for a deployment to the Middle East on the horizon.

Those plans appeared to change this summer when the

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Aug.
26th

New Green Beret battalion unfurls colors at Lewis-McChord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To say Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s newest Special Forces unit is ready to hit the ground running would be an understatement.

Its soldiers were sprinting even before they had a chance to set up their new compound at the base south of Tacoma.

The base’s 1st Special Forces Group unfurled the flag for its new 4th Battalion Friday, signaling that another 400 Green Berets will be serving in the South Sound.

Some of those new soldiers have been deploying on missions to Thailand and the Philippines

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Aug.
23rd

Rumsfeld looking back as he visits Lewis-McChord this week

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is visiting Joint Base Lewis-McChord Friday to meet with service members and promote his memoir, Known and Unknown.

 It’s Rumsfeld’s first trip to the base south of Tacoma since 2002, when he checked out burgeoning Stryker brigades as they readied for the first combat missions overseas. At the time, the eight-wheeled machines that are now Lewis-McChord’s signature fighting vehicles faced an uncertain future as a still-new weapon.

This time, Rumsfeld says he’s looking forward to seeing soldiers and airmen he met on past travels.

“One of the

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Aug.
19th

Florida veterans get a boost in Tacoma for cross-country cycling trip

Two former service members from Florida cycling across the country to raise awareness about disabled and homeless veterans are pausing in Tacoma today to pick up a boost for their journey.

Eric and Monica Barfield are receiving a $750 check to buy a new Trek touring bicycle, a purchase made necessary by an accident in Oregon last week that threatened to end their campaign early.

Tacoma’s AMVETS Post 1 stepped forward to offer the money after learning that Eric Barfield lost his bike in an accident with a pickup truck.

“I was totally shocked; I couldn’t believe it,” Barfield told

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Aug.
19th

“She always smiled:” New documents raise old questions in soldier’s death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The more you learn about Staff Sgt. Amy Tirador, the harder it is to understand how she came to take her life in Iraq nearly two years ago.

We received a second wave of documents from the Army’s investigation into the former Fort Lewis soldier’s death this week. They raised the same questions her friends and family have struggled to answer since she was found dead on Nov. 4, 2009 at Forward Operating Base Caldwell in eastern Iraq.

How could a soldier who appeared friendly and optimistic

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