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Category: 555th Engineer Brigade

Feb.
1st

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

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July
18th

Last of soldiers from JBLM’s 14th Combat Engineer Battalion heading home this week

A year in southern Afghanistan is coming to an end for Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 14th  Engineer Battalion.

The soldiers spent their deployment clearing roads of buried bombs in Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Jeff Van Sant from Q13 spent several weeks with them early in their deployment and came back with this package of stories on the dangers they faced.

More recently, the battalion suffered its only casualty when Staff Sgt. Alexander Povilaitis, 47, was killed by an enemy bomb in Kandahar. His friends at a memorial last month said Povilaitis embodied the battalion’s motto of “rugged.”

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June
2nd

JBLM combat engineer killed in Kandahar Province – He’s the seventh WA war casualty in May

The Defense Department today announced that a seventh Washington-based service member was killed in Afghanistan in May, the most in a single month since July 2010.

Staff Sgt. Alexander Povilaitis, 47, was killed Thursday in Kandahar Province when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle.

He served with Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 14th Engineer Battalion of the 555th Engineer Brigade. Soldiers in that battalion tend to drive heavy and well-protected vehicles that are used to clear roads of buried bombs.

Povilaitis served in the Army from 1984 to 1987 as a radio operator. He rejoined the service as a reservist

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June
21st

JBLM engineers leaving for Afghanistan deployment

About 600 soldiers in Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 14th Engineer Battalion are preparing for a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan, where they’ll be charged with clearing roads of IEDs.

The battalion has deployed three times since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began 10 years ago. This will be its first mission in Afghanistan.

It’ll be on the ground as the U.S. presence in Afghanistan draws down somewhat. President Obama is expected to announce this week that he’ll withdraw the 30,000 “surge” soldiers in Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

The engineers plan to mark their upcoming deployment with a

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June
17th

Three soldiers discharged for joining fraud ring; more could follow

Three Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers who participated in a fraud ring that swindled $3.5 million from an Ohio bank have been discharged from the Army.

They’re among 78 soldiers who the Army believes benefited in some way from a scheme to bilk entities including the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Tacoma Public Utilities.

Most of the money went to civilians. About $600,000 can be traced to service members, Army spokesman Chris Ophardt said.

So far, the Army has disciplined 23 soldiers for relatively minor fraud without pressing charges against them in courts-martial.

Pierce County prosecutors last month charged

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May
19th

Lewis-McChord’s “Triple Nickel” brigade dedicates new memorial to fallen soldiers

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s combat engineer brigade plans to dedicate a new memorial to 27 of its fallen soldiers Friday.

The 555th Engineer Brigade, known as the “Triple Nickel,” has deployed to Iraq three times since 2003. Its latest deployment took place in 2008-09, where it managed construction projects throughout the country and searched for roadside bombs.

Tomorrow’s ceremony is to take place at 10 a.m. in Lewis-McChord’s Memorial Park. It folds into events this week called “Engineer Days,” where soldiers celebrate the brigade’s history.

Oct.
25th

Deaths of JBLM soldiers described in WikiLeaks reports

Casualty reports describing the deaths of dozens of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers can be found in hundreds of thousands of pages of classified Iraq war documents published last weekend by WikiLeaks.

The reports are immediate accounts of daily events in Iraq between 2004 and 2010. They’re quick and dirty, and will not reveal much new information to families who have received final investigations into the deaths of their loved ones from the Defense Department.

They reflect a constant grind for soldiers seeking out improvised explosive devices, drawing contact from insurgents and executing raids.

Here are some of examples

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Oct.
22nd

JBLM soldiers roll out for community projects

Look out for the guy in camouflage cleaning up Highway 5 tomorrow. He’s going to have lots of company on the road, and at other community service projects around the South Sound today and Saturday.

They’re rolling out to the cities surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord to participate in Make a Difference Day.

The projects range from clean-up work on Highway 5 to trail maintenance at Farrell Marsh Park in Steilacoom.

Here’s a look at some of the places where you might see JBLM soldiers:

– Farrell Marsh Park: Fifteen soldiers from the 42nd Military Police Brigade are renovating walking trails

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