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JBLM Army commander: Pacific exercises to pick up over next year

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Aug. 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
August 13, 2012 4:39 pm

In case you missed it, here’s more evidence that the Army is planning to use Joint Base Lewis-McChord as a launching pad for increased work in the Pacific.

Lewis-McChord senior Army officer Lt. Gen. Robert Brown earlier this month told the Puget Sound Business Journal that soldiers under his command will head to Pacific nations for up to five major military exercises every year and 10 smaller ones.

He was describing the Defense Department’s push to reorient its focus to the Pacific as the war in Afghanistan draws down.

“It’s significant, it’s historical, we’re proud to be part of this shift,” Brown told the Business Journal.  “By mid-2013, we will be in full swing, and on for however many years from there.”

We heard comments like these two years ago when Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti arrived at Lewis-McChord as the base’s senior Army officer. Plans for Pacific exercises under his command were set aside when the Army instead sent him and the I Corps to Afghanistan in June 2011.

Lewis-McChord currently has a large presence in Afghanistan with two Stryker brigades fighting there. They should start coming home late this year and in early 2013. Another Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade expects to deploy there late this fall.

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