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Category: 7th Infantry Division

March
20th

JBLM Howitzers are booming this week, but even more action is unfolding on screens

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s artillery brigade is firing its big canons this week, but on a tighter budget than in years past.

The canons likely sound the same as ever to Pierce County residents on both the east and west sides of Lewis-McChord who heard the rumble of Howitzers last night between 8 and 9 p.m. I noticed lots of chatter on Facebook about the firing last night, and it looks like our friends at Patch picked up on the same calls.

On the base, though, this week’s artillery exercise signals the Army’s deepening reliance on simulated shooting to

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March
14th

Sequester hitting home at JBLM in slashed tuition assistance and tight training budgets

Service members at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are starting to feel the pinch of forced federal budget cuts that are changing the way they train and cutting into benefits they have enjoyed throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the top of the list for service members looking to advance themselves are the Army and Air Force tuition assistance programs, which give them up to $4,500 a year toward college-level education programs.

The Army and Air Force suspended that program this month as they sought to shore up their budgets following Congress’ failure to avert $50 billion in immediate defense

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March
8th

“Arrowhead 6 signing off:” Stryker commander hands post to successor after Afghanistan mission

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade leader recently home from Afghanistan handed his post to a new commander today and closed the book on his 30-year career in the active-duty Army.

Col. Charles Webster filled his remarks at his change of command ceremony with “thank yous” to his fellow soldiers in the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division and to his peers among Lewis-McChord’s senior officers.

“What a day, one of I’ve been dreading for, oh, about 30 months (since he took command),” he said in his prepared remarks. “But what an adventure, not only the last 30 months, but also

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March
5th

New JBLM division leader talks pot, Pacific shift and health in TV interview

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza last week sat down for an interview with TVW’s Austin Jenkins, covering a lot of ground from how to talk about mostly legal marijuana in the Evergreen State to the recently reactivated 7th Infantry Division’s growing command responsibilities over combat brigades.

Above is an excerpt showing Lanza reiterating that Lewis-McChord soldiers cannot smoke marijuana even though the drug is now legal under state law. Federal law applies to service members, he said, and regular urinalysis tests for cannabis will continue.

Lanza arrived at Lewis-McChord last fall to reactivate

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Feb.
22nd

Navy admiral visits JBLM to shift focus from Afghanistan to the Pacific

The Defense Department’s highest ranking officer in the Pacific is visiting Joint Base Lewis-McChord today to get battle-hardened Iraq and Afghanistan veterans thinking about new challenges in Asia.

Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear’s trip to Lewis-McChord is another signal in the Pentagon’s shift in focus from wars in the Middle East to emerging threats and neglected alliances in other parts of the world.

“We can’t stay Middle East-focused forever,” Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told Lewis-McChord I Corps troops today.

The base south of Tacoma supplied about 10,000 soldiers a year to Iraq and Afghanistan for much of the past

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Feb.
21st

JBLM crews among the first to fly latest models of Apache attack helicopters


Col. Robert Dickerson, commander of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 16th
Combat Aviation Brigade, introduces the newest model of the Apache
AH-64 helicopter. The base south of Tacoma has eight of the choppers,
and will have 24 by late this spring.
Adam Ashton/Staff writer

Veteran pilots at Joint Base Lewis-McChord tick off their favorite features about the latest models of the Army’s menacing Apache helicopters they received this winter:

More power. Better lift. The ability to command aerial drones from their cockpits.
One more thing: Now they can fly in thick cloud cover, a crucial capability at

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Feb.
15th

JBLM officer looks back at three combat tours in new book, “Iraq Full Circle”

 

Col. Darron Wright thought he knew who the bad guys were on his first deployment to Iraq. They were Sunni Muslim insurgents giving his soldiers hell in the communities around Saddam Hussein’s hometown.
By his last tour six years later with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade, Wright found himself sharing tea and meals with leaders of some of the same groups – men he blamed for those early fatal attacks on American soldiers and vicious assaults on Iraqi civilians.
“This dude had so much blood on his hands,” Wright, 44, remembered from a 2010 meeting with

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Feb.
14th

“You have indeed returned with honor.” JBLM’s 2nd Stryker Brigade closes the book on nine months in Kandahar

Staff Sgt. Christopher Byers marched on prosthetic legs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Thursday, rejoining a group of soldiers he left in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province seven months ago.
His limbs chafed at their heavy use, but Byers didn’t complain. He called himself motivated by the chance to march at a ceremony marking the homecoming of his Stryker brigade.
“It’s good to have them home. It really is. I was so worried about them while were gone,” he said.
Byers, 30, served with the 4,000 soldiers in Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which recently completed a nine-month assignment

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