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Category: 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division


With “kill team” trials behind them, some families of convicted soldiers stand by Gibbs

Last week’s abrupt conclusion to the Army’s two-year “kill team” investigation at Joint Base Lewis-McChord led me to call several of the families whose lives were upended by successive courts-martial. Check The News Tribune Sunday for the story I’m writing from the interviews on how they’re rebuilding their lives with the trials behind them.

One impression that stood out: Some of the families are standing by convicted “kill team” ringleader Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs.

This isn’t too surprising given that so many of Gibbs’ friends and fellow soldiers attended his November court-martial. They’ve been pulling for him along

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Army drops murder charge against last soldier tied to “kill team” cases

The Army today dropped its case against the fifth soldier it accused of murdering Afghan civilians during a 2010 deployment with a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade, his attorney said.

The decision ends a 19-month ordeal for Spc. Michael Wagnon, 31, who came home early from his deployment in June 2010 facing charges that he murdered a noncombatant and tried to obstruct an investigation into wrongdoing among his platoon mates.

He was one of 12 soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division who were charged with misdeeds during their deployment to Southern Afghanistan. The Army has convicted the other

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JBLM’s top general advises troops to treat corpses with “dignity and respect” in fallout from Marine video

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s senior commander today advised NATO soldiers to treat Afghan corpses with “appropriate dignity and respect” as he sought to contain the international fallout from a video that allegedly shows four Marines urinating on Taliban bodies.

CNN obtained the order from Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti on a NATO web site.

“We must treat the living and the dead with dignity and respect,” CNN quoted from the directive in which Scaparrotti advised troops to follow the rules of armed conflict and “act honorably at all times.

“In order to prevail, for the good of the coalition nations

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Army delays last “kill team” case, postponing trial for two months

The Army put its last case in its “kill team” investigation on hold for another two months to give the defense team for the accused Spc. Michael Wagnon time to wrap up its preparations.

Wagnon, 31, allegedly shot at an Afghan noncombatant in February 2010 to help two other soldiers cover up an illegitimate killing. He has pleaded not guilty, arguing that he shot at the Afghan because he thought the victim fired first.

Wagnon’s court-martial was expected to begin Jan. 20. It has been delayed until March 12, his attorney, Colby Vokey, said today. Wagnon faces life in prison

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Army sees first combat deaths in newly designed “double V” Strykers

The Army has recorded its first combat deaths in new “double V” hull Strykers that were designed to provide better protection against improvised explosives, according to an update on the vehicle in Stars and Stripes.

Three soldiers from the Alaska-based 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division were killed in two attacks while riding in a double V Stryker last month. News of their deaths reverberates at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the home of three Stryker brigades that could be called up to deploy to Afghanistan.

Commanders in the Alaska brigade told Stars and Stripes that the new Strykers are saving

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JBLM Stryker brigade shapes training with an eye on Afghanistan

Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division spent the past month training in the California desert with an eye on a possible deployment to Afghanistan, according to Army reports from its exercises.

Brigade commander Col. Barry Huggins went so far as to act out a ceremony marking the completion of a civil affairs project that would benefit Afghans. An Afghan flag fluttered above the exercise as Huggins depicted the pomp that would follow a bridge opening, an Army writer wrote.

“A man with seven sons, gave seven sticks to his sons and told them to break them.

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Stryker sergeant guilty of assaulting junior soldier in 11th “kill team” case

8:50 PM UPDATE: Staff Sgt. David Bram will serve five years in prison, the jury announced tonight.

6:45 PM UPDATE: Staff Sgt. David Bram tonight pleaded for mercy from jury that will sentence him up to 14 years in prison for crimes he committed in Afghanistan last year.

Bram tearfully asked for an opportunity to be reunited with his son and daughter.

“After seeing my children ripped away from me for the sins of their father, I truly do understand the weight of what I’ve done,” he said.

He also delivered an apology that might some Lewis-McChord soldiers have been

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Sergeant linked to “kill team” fights detainee abuse, assault charges

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord staff sergeant who supervised soldiers accused of murdering Afghan civilians last year is in court today facing charges that he beat up the private who kicked off the Army’s “kill team” investigation.

Staff Sgt. David Bram, 27, faces 17 years in prison if he’s convicted on various charges. The accusations against him break down into two groups – the ones the Army charged against him when he came home in June 2010 and ones prosecutors filed against him in May 2011.

The first set includes accusations that Bram led a seven-man assault on then-Pfc. Justin Stoner

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