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Archives: April 2012

April
30th

JBLM soldier killed in southern Afghanistan

Minnesota news outlets are reporting that a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was killed in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province on Sunday.

Spc. Nicholas Dickhut, 23, of Rochester, Minn. just last week was photographed in an image that appeared on news web sites all over the country. It shows him lining up a shot after coming under fire in Kandahar three days before his death.

The Defense Department and Lewis-McChord have not released their formal press releases announcing his death.

“I don’t even want to think about the fact that he’s never coming home,” his mother, Jacqueline Carson, told

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April
30th

Report: Pilot error caused fatal JBLM helicopter accident

Pilot error caused a fatal midair collision of two Joint Base Lewis-McChord Kiowa helicopters during a December training accident, according to an Army report released today to Northwest News Network.

KUOW’s Austin Jenkins reports that the internal Army investigation found that one helicopter “flew directly into the side of the second chopper bringing both aircraft to the ground.”

Jenkins also reported that “radar and radio communications are limited” in the Thurston County area where the Army conducts nighttime training flights.

That’s significant for Lewis-McChord’s growing aviation units. The base is now home to a new combat aviation brigade

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April
27th

Washington airman to receive Silver Star for heroism in repelling Taliban ambush

A Washington National Guardsman who helped repel a massive ambush by more than 200 Taliban insurgents in a 13-hour battle last year will a receive a Silver Star for his heroism, the National Guard announced today.

Technical Sgt. Tavis Delaney’s honor represents the third Silver Star for the Washington National Guard to emerge from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Delaney is to receive is medal in a ceremony on Sunday, May 6.

He distinguished himself by putting himself in mortal danger to call in close air strikes against Taliban fighters who held the high ground in an ambush against

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April
26th

Army says new 7th Infantry Division headquarters at JBLM to focus on training and discipline

The Army is building a new headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but it will be unlike other commands for two-star generals across the country in that it will not be asked to deploy for combat.

Instead, the 7th Infantry Division will focus on mentorship, training and discipline at Lewis-McChord, Secretary of the Army John McHugh said during a Thursday visit to the base south of Tacoma.

Those are stateside responsibilities that have come under scrutiny at Lewis-McChord because of a series of high-profile crimes committed by troops stationed there, including the 2010 “kill team” homicides of three noncombatants in southern

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April
26th

UPDATE 2: Two paratroopers rescued from trees

Emergency personnel came to the rescue of two Army paratroopers who got hung up when wind blew them into trees during a training jump Thursday afternoon near Rainier, according to a news release.

Neither paratrooper was seriously injured.

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord fire department was able to retrieve a male paratrooper who was more than 30 feet high using a ground ladder. But they had to wait for the Thurston County Special Operations Rescue Team to rescue the female paratrooper, who was between 70 and 75 feet off the ground, Lacey fire battalion chief Steve Crimmins said.

The team includes

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April
25th

Is JBLM getting an infantry division? Secretary of the Army visiting Thursday with news

Secretary of the Army John McHugh is visiting Joint Base Lewis-McChord Thursday to make announcement on a “force alignment” decision that will impact the military community south of Tacoma, the Army said today.

McHugh’s visit appears different from recent trips made by other senior Army leaders to Lewis-McChord in the past two months in that the Army says McHugh has a “basing decision” to release tomorrow. That’s different from the Army leaders who visited Lewis-McChord to answer questions about the base and the state of the force, but not to break news.

Recently, defense experts have suggested Lewis-McChord is ready

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April
23rd

Construction under way on logistics center at Lewis-McChord

If you’ve been slowed by traffic on Interstate 5 through Joint Base Lewis-McChord, you might have noticed  lost trees, orange construction fence and an assortment of heavy equipment near the old logistics gate (near Exit 123).

Construction has begun on an estimated $109 million center that will centralize the maintenance, repair and upgrading of military vehicles and equipment that occurs at more than 20 World War II-era work sites spread throughout the joint base.

The so-called Regional Logistics Support Complex will be built in four phases, of which two are funded.

The first two phases will construct two state-of-the-art maintenance

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April
20th

Embed update: U.S. troops fight “green on blue” killings with caution, relationships

KABUL – Army Command Sgt. Major John Troxell is one of the highest ranking, most experienced U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan this year. His counterpart in the Afghan army has the same prestige.

They trust each other, but whenever they meet one another, each soldier brings a personal security team.

“I always have someone locked and loaded, passively watching,” Troxell said.

His safety precautions are being replicated throughout the NATO headquarters where he works and its connected bases around Kabul.

They grew in importance this year in the wake of a string of incidents that left 17 NATO service members

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