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Archives: April 2012

April
19th

Last of Lewis-McChord’s Stryker brigades Afghanistan-bound

The Pentagon announced Thursday that the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will deploy to Afghanistan later this year.

The nine-month deployment that is scheduled to begin in early winter will impact 3,900 soldiers and their families.

It would be the third deployment for the brigade, which served twice in Iraq from 2007-08 and 2009-2010.

The brigade will deploy as Combined Task Force Raider and continue the work training Afghan security forces so they can take over their own security after U.S. combat troops leave as early as mid-2013.

“Drawing on experience from two deployments and the

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April
19th

Embed update: Junior soldiers listen in on top brass on Kabul circuit

Spc. Tony Wood got to hear some highbrow conversations over the past 10 months he spent in Kabul with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps.

He’s part of the unit’s movement control team, a job that calls on him and a few other enlisted soldiers to drive and protect the international officers that serve here as they travel about the
capital city.

His passengers have included generals from European nations. “I like it. You’re not sitting a desk job,” said Wood, who lives at Lewis-McChord when he’s in the states.

As far as he has seen, security in the

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April
17th

Embed Update: CrossFit Kabul doles out tough workouts, recognition to “heroes”

KABUL – Sgt. 1st Class Ricky Irvin took a look at the gym at the NATO headquarters here when he arrived last summer and knew he wanted something a little more intense. He had a long year ahead of him working odd hours in a communications shop for the war’s commanders.

He led a push to create a CrossFit gym just across a pathway from where some of the Afghanistan War’s top commanders make their decisions to shape the conflict. It was a hit, with about 50 people or more each day heading over for the short, high-intensity workouts for

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April
15th

Embed update: Touching down to breaking news in Kabul

Well, this is an interesting day to get to Kabul.

Peter and I were in a bubble today when insurgent attacks broke out in Kabul and in several other provinces. We were flying from Kandahar Air Field to Kabul International Airport to connect with the war’s commanders from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps.

At the time, we thought our main conflict for the day was going to be the guy from KBR who didn’t want to let us through his terminal to the French air force cargo plane that was booked for the Kabul flight. We made it,

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April
14th

Embed update: The D-Fac mutiny at FOB Sweeney

No one goes hungry at the big NATO bases here in Afghanistan. Some of the most developed ones have ice cream, stir-fry dinners and elaborate salad fixings. There’s something for everyone, and the menu changes every day.

It’s tougher to get a tasty fix at small outposts where fewer than a couple hundred soldiers are stationed. The food gets monotonous, and eating can become a chore even for hungry troops. Whenever they can, soldiers buy Afghan bread from bakers or beg it off Afghan soldiers if they can’t purchase it.

“My guys will eat that up,” said Capt. Joe Mickley

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April
13th

National Guard to honor deployed citizen-soldiers Sunday

The Washington Army National Guard will officially thank about 180 citizen-soldiers who put their lives on hold for a year to support Operation Enduring Freedom during a ceremony Sunday, April 15.

The Freedom Salute ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The citizen-soldiers are assigned to the 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation, known as the Raptor Battalion, who returned home in February from Kuwait. The battalion flies and maintains UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.

The battalion deployed to Iraq from May 2007 to May 2008.

The ceremony is part of a National Guard campaign to publicly acknowledge citizen-soldiers and their

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April
13th

Embed update: Out of Zabul, on to Kabul

Peter and I are back at Kandahar Air Field en route to an embed with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s I Corps in Kabul.

We’re putting the finishing touches on a couple more feature stories from our time with Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and they should be out in the paper within the next two weeks.

Kabul is bound to be a major difference for us. Zabul Province is rural and remote. It has one paved road. I’m sure the capital will look like a different nation to us after our weeks in the countryside.

Our main stories don’t show

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