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Category: Army Stryker brigades

July
15th

JBLM losing one of its team players as Fires Brigade’s Col. Kamper moves on

Col. Ken Kamper doesn’t miss much at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He’s there when his artillery troops come home from war. He’s there to pay respects when soldiers fall in combat. And Kamper almost always says yes when South Sound communities come looking for an officer in uniform to represent the Army outside the base.

The two-time Iraq veteran who spent eight of the past 10 years at the base south of Tacoma is moving on after two and a half years leading about 2,500 soldiers in the base’s artillery brigade. His 17th Fires Brigade is one of four large Army

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June
25th

JBLM to lose a Stryker brigade and more soldiers in coming years

Joint Base Lewis-McChord will lose about 4,500 positions for active-duty soldiers over the next few years as the Army reduces its overall strength coming out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a briefing given this morning to Puget Sound congressmen.

Defense officials today told Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, that the Army plans to deactivate Lewis-McChord’s 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. That unit contains about 4,000 soldiers, about 1,000 of whom are finishing a deployment in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.

Heck was told the Army also would close or reduce other units at Lewis-McChord. The Army in January released

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May
24th

Army Pacific commander hints at Stryker review, but says downsizing could have a light touch in the region

A new interview from the top Army commander in the Pacific raises some interesting questions about how the Pentagon’s plans for its Stryker brigades as it draws down it forces over the next few years.

Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski suggested to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the Army might not need a Stryker brigade in Hawaii when it has three at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and one in Alaska.

“We have three additional Stryker brigades at Fort Lewis that we didn’t have 10 years ago,” Wiercinski told the newspaper. “That’s a lot of Stryker brigades.”

(The Star-Advertiser has  a pay

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April
25th

“Six months is long enough:” Accelerating drawdown has Stryker soldiers coming home early from Afghanistan

Sgt. Ryan Ellenberger’s 2-month-old son left him speechless.

He held the baby for the first time Thursday in a Joint Base Lewis-McChord gymnasium when the soldier came home from his Stryker unit’s shortened tour in Afghanistan.

Tears welled up in Ellenberger’s eyes. His wife, Summer, leaned over to give him a long kiss.

Their ecstatic expressions conveyed far more than they could express out loud.

“It’s amazing. Words can’t describe it. I just can’t,” he said as he held Ryan Jr. with the baby’s eyes fixing on dad’s.

Their reunion took place four months earlier than the family expected when

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April
19th

No definite plans to cut ranks at JBLM, but losing a Stryker brigade might look like this

It’s true that “no decisions have been made” with respect to Army downsizing at any particular stateside post.

But … business and civic leaders around the South Sound are bracing for cuts to the 36,000 active-duty soldiers stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That decision is expected to come this summer.

If Lewis-McChord’s number is pulled, it likely would lose a Stryker brigade and portions of other units as the Army draws down its strength from its wartime peak of 570,000 active-duty soldiers toward a total force of 490,000.

Lewis-McChord has three of the Army’s nine Stryker brigades. No other

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April
5th

JBLM cavalry couples earn their “marriage spurs” at post-deployment retreat

Ryan and Mallory Corcoran put some serious work into getting ready from his return from Afghanistan this past winter. The Joint Base Lewis-McChord cavalry sergeant talked with his chaplain and made a plan to set reasonable expectations for his homecoming.

It paid off with a low-key and satisfying return, he said, much easier than the whirlwind he and his wife experienced after his 2009-10 mission in Iraq.

“We knew what to expect and planned accordingly,” Ryan, 23, said.

They took a little more time for their relationship on Friday at a “marriage spur ride” with their chaplain, Capt. Rick Pak.

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April
4th

Marines saving money on vehicle upgrades by turning to Army’s extra Stryker parts

Some of the Army’s extra Stryker replacement parts will be headed to an underfunded Marine vehicle renovation project.

The Marines’ Light Armored Vehicle program stands to benefit from the Army’s Stryker inventory, according to a Marine report from last month.

It’s starting with about $400,000 in savings by acquiring already produced Stryker steering and battery parts.

“With the Department of Defense entering a period of fiscal austerity, we found a way to save the Marine Corps a significant amount of taxpayer dollars,” Col. Mark Brinkman, the program manager for LAV, told a Marine writer. “The initial savings with

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April
1st

Inspector General finds $900 million inventory of Stryker parts at Auburn warehouse – Read full report here

Better late than never.

Last week, we found a Defense Department Inspector General report from late last year that took a critical look at how the Army pays for maintenance of its more than 2,500 Strykers.

It found a stockpile of nearly $900 million worth of replacement parts, most of them at a warehouse in Auburn. Take a look at our news story on the report here.

The IG seems to be encouraging the Army to normalize its Stryker maintenance programs. The Army developed the infantry vehicle just before the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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