FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved FOB Tacoma.
Visit the new section.

Category: 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division


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

Read more »


“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

Read more »


With withdrawal picking up speed, some JBLM units are coming home early from war

Some Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan a few months ago are coming home early because of the Obama administration’s quickening withdrawal of U.S. forces from the war zone.

Small groups of soldiers from Lewis-McChord’s 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division started coming home this month. The unit, known in the Army as the Raider Brigade, deployed in November and December with about 3,000 soldiers who expected to stay in Afghanistan through July or August.

The bulk of them still anticipate serving in Afghanistan through the summer, according to letters commanders have sent home to family readiness groups.


Read more »


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

Read more »


Army secretary launches resiliency campaign at JBLM, gives an update on PTSD reviews

 Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday. Photo by Peter Haley/The News Tribune.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh on Monday launched an initiative to promote life skills in military families, seeking to streamline and advertise behavioral health resources so soldiers know where to turn in moments of need.

He signed a memorandum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday steering more resources to so-called “resiliency” programs, which the Army uses to promote overall health among soldiers and their families.

They’re one component of the Army’s push to reverse a disturbing rise in soldier suicides

Read more »


Secretary of the Army coming to JBLM to announce results of behavioral health investigation

Secretary of the Army John McHugh plans to visit Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday to announce the results of a service-wide investigation into behavioral health programs and to meet with Stryker soldiers recently home from Afghanistan.

McHugh last visited Lewis-McChord in April when he announced that the Army would create a new division headquarters at the base to provide better oversight of its main combat brigades.

That headquarters, the 7th Infantry Division, opened in October under Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza. It  is hosting McHugh’s visit next week and it now supervises more than 17,000 soldiers in five Army brigades.

Patient complaints

Read more »


IED kills JBLM soldier in Afghanistan

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord 4th Stryker Brigade soldier died Jan. 16 when he encountered an IED while on a dismounted patrol in Afghanistan, the Army said today.

Sgt. David J. Chambers of Hampton, Va. died in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province at the age of 25.

He joined the Army in May 2009, and deployed to Afghanistan from June 2010 to May 2011, and again in November 2012.

Chambers was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

He received the Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal

Read more »


Lewis-McChord soldier killed in Afghanistan

UPDATE: A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier died in Afghanistan on Saturday, the 36th and likely last reported fatality from the local base in 2012.

Pfc. Markie T. Sims, of Citra, Fla., died a week before his 21st birthday in southern Afghanistan in the blast of improvised explosive device, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Sims was a combat engineer who enlisted in the Army in November 2011. This was his first deployment.

Sims ran track and played basketball in high school and graduated from Marion Technical Institute in Ocala, Fla.

Sims’ mother, Wanda Thompson, told the Star-Banner newspaper that her son

Read more »