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Category: 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division


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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JBLM using outreach and discipline to address rising numbers of military sex assaults

A fast-developing sexual assault prevention program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord has the Army mustering up new victim advocates, spreading a “zero tolerance” message down the ranks and cracking down on misbehavior in the barracks.

It’s intended to reverse a rising number of reported military sexual assaults across the Armed Forces that is fraying relationships among service members and causing lawmakers to consider changes to the Army’s justice system.

“When you have sexual assault in the military, it breaks down the fabric of trust in our organization,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza, who this week canceled training activities

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Defense attorney for Army killer Sgt. John Russell argues troubled troops deserve better care

Nearly every time I write about the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who murdered 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province, I get calls from readers who argue the Army should drop its charges against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

They feel that Bales was a hero for serving with honor on three previous deployments to Iraq with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. They believe his actions can be explained somewhat by the psychological toll those tours of duty took on the 39-year-old father of two. (They can find info about how to help Bales here.)

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JBLM’s Staff Sgt. Robert Bales to plead guilty to killing Afghan civilians

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier who allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians last year plans to plead guilty to the killings next week, his attorney said today.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales hopes to avoid the death penalty if his plea is accepted, Seattle defense attorney John Henry Browne told The Associated Press.

The News Tribune reached Browne as he was entering Lewis-McChord today and he could not talk.

The plea hearing is set for next Wednesday, an Army official told The News Tribune.

Bales must give a full account of the killings and persuade a judge that he

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Attorneys for Kandahar massacre suspect Staff Sgt. Robert Bales must declare mental health defense by late May

Attorneys for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians last spring are approaching a deadline at the end of May to declare whether they intend to use a mental health defense at his court-martial.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ faces the death penalty on charges that he slipped out of his combat outpost by himself twice in the early hours of March 11, 2012 to murder the civilians in their homes and to wound six more noncombatants. He allegedly burned some of the corpses, and reportedly returned to his base wearing a sheet like a cape.


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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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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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Afghan witnesses visit JBLM to prepare for Staff Sgt. Bales’ court-martial

Six Afghan civilians who plan to testify at the court-martial for Kandahar massacre suspect Staff Sgt. Robert Bales traveled to Joint Base Lewis-McChord last week to prepare for the trial.

Lt. Col. Gary Dangerfield, a spokesman for Lewis-McChord’s I Corps, confirmed that the witnesses visited the base last week and returned to Afghanistan.

They stayed at accommodations on the base and met with attorneys from the Army prosecution team and Bales’ lawyers.

Dangerfield said the discussions were not depositions. They were intended to help the Afghans become familiar with the court-martial process they will experience if Bales’ case takes place

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