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Archives: Nov. 2012

Nov.
30th

Gitmo on the I-5? GAO report looks at where to house Guantanamo detainees

I can’t say this any better than Spencer Ackerman at Wired’s Danger Room:

“Think it’s too dangerous to house the 166 suspected terrorists locked up in Guantanamo Bay within the continental United States? A powerful senator asked a congressional research office to run the numbers. It found that there are no fewer than 104 places inside the U.S. to safely lock them up — provided they make serious modifications.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s effort to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay generated this report from the Government Accountability Office, including an assessment of whether military jails

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Nov.
29th

JBLM Stryker brigades meet in Kandahar as one hits the ground and two look homeward

Here’s a fun photo that sums up the comings and goings of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s largest infantry brigades, all three of which were on the ground in Kandahar Province for most of this month.

Two brigades are heading home, and one is just getting started on its own mission in southern Afghanistan.

This image shows the commanders and senior noncommissioned officers of Lewis-McChord’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th Stryker brigades at Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in Kandahar Province last week.

Most of the 3,500 troops in the 3rd Brigade deployed late last year. Many of them are home in the

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Nov.
23rd

Wounded Montana soldier describes insider attack that killed JBLM intel analyst

The Montana Missoulian this week published an eye-witness account of an insider attack in Kandahar Province that killed a well-loved Joint Base Lewis-McChord intelligence soldier last month.

Spc. Brittany Gordon of Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division died with a CIA officer and four Afghan partners Oct. 13 when a man in an Afghan intelligence uniform detonated a suicide vest. Press reports suggest the killer was a member of the Afghan National Directorate of Security

Spc. Steve Beaty of the Montana National Guard was among the wounded that day. He was part of a security detail protecting a

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Nov.
19th

Congressmen seeking info about proposal to move summer ROTC exercise from JBLM to Fort Knox

An annual exercise that brings thousands of Army officer cadets to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a month of demanding drills could be moving to Kentucky, according to lawmakers who are lobbying to keep the program in the South Sound.

Operation Warrior Forge last summer drew more than 6,000 Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets to Lewis-McChord. Many of their parents attend graduation ceremonies to see off cadets heading into their final year of college.

That 29-day Leader Development and Assessment Course could be consolidated with the Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox. Fort Knox hosts a smaller summer ROTC exercise called

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Nov.
16th

Lewis-McChord sergeant in unit fresh to Afghanistan dies in Kandahar Province

A noncommissioned officer from a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade that just this month hit the ground in Afghanistan has died, the Defense Department announced today.

Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle Jr., 25, of Rocky Mount, N.C., died Tuesday, in Kandahar Province.

He was assigned to the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and deployed three times. His unit is charged with clearing roads of enemy mines so convoys can drive safely in dangerous territory.

The Army has not released information about the manner of Battle’s death.

It said Battle joined the Army in June of 2005

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Nov.
15th

Sen. Murray seeks to leave leadership post on Veterans Affairs to take up Budget chairmanship

Sen. Patty Murray plans to leave her bully pulpit as chairwoman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to seek a greater role shaping federal spending as the leader of the Senate Budget Committee.

We’re planning to speak with Murray later today. She intends to remain on Veterans Affairs, a committee that she used to draw attention to long waits for patient services in the VA and to push for improved behavioral health services in the active-duty military.

She told Politico she wants to leverage her new role on Budget Committee to shape discussions about investing in the country’s future.

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Nov.
13th

Army says Bales should face death penalty for “despicable” crimes; Defense says too many questions are unanswered

An Army prosecutor today argued that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales committed “the worst, most despicable crimes a human being can commit” in contending the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker soldier should face the death penalty for “murdering children in their own homes.”

Maj. Rob Stelle’s argument concluded an eight-day evidence hearing for Bales, 39, who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians and wounded six more in the early hours of March 11. The massacre involved the worst war crimes from the conflict in Afghanistan.

Stelle’s summation of the case as one that merits the death penalty contrasted with a closing argument from

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Nov.
11th

Bales hearing: Afghan investigator challenges single shooter theory of Panjwai massacre

8:30 p.m. update: An Afghan police officer who investigated the March slaughter of 16 civilians in Kandahar province contends that one person could not have carried out all of the killings, contradicting the Army’s case that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales executed the massacre by himself.

“One person cannot do this work,” Maj. Khudai Dad testified via video link from Kandahar tonight in an Army evidence hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

His theory of how the killings unfolded contradicts multiple aspects of how the Army believes the massacre unfolded.

Khudai Dad argues that killings took place simultaneously in the villages of

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