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Category: 62nd Airlift Wing


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’s wartime growth was fifth fastest across entire military, new GAO report shows

A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that the number of civilian and military employees at Joint Base Lewis-McChord has increased by almost 64 percent since 2006, a pace that marked the fifth-fastest clip for any domestic military installation.

The base added about 20,600 civilian and military employees in that period, giving it a payroll of some 52,800 service members and civilians as of last year.

Lewis-McChord caught the attention of the GAO for a report looking at military bases that added or lost significant numbers of service members in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure round.

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JBLM air crews see a reduction in training hours while deployments continue

The comings and goings of two Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Force squadrons this week show that local airmen are still at war overseas even  as the Pentagon is cutting spending at home.

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew in a visit to the base last week told reporter Christian Hill that flying hours are being cut about 20 percent to help the Air Force control costs this year.

Previously, senior officers told the newspaper Lewis-McChord’s 62nd Airlift Wing was not seeing much of a reduction in training because its crews are constantly deploying to support the war in Afghanistan. Their training is

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Sequester hitting home at JBLM in slashed tuition assistance and tight training budgets

Service members at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are starting to feel the pinch of forced federal budget cuts that are changing the way they train and cutting into benefits they have enjoyed throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the top of the list for service members looking to advance themselves are the Army and Air Force tuition assistance programs, which give them up to $4,500 a year toward college-level education programs.

The Army and Air Force suspended that program this month as they sought to shore up their budgets following Congress’ failure to avert $50 billion in immediate defense

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Federal budget cuts claim well-loved air mobility rodeo at JBLM

The Pentagon is cancelling a well-loved Air Force competition at Joint Base Lewis-McChord this summer, grounding the air mobility “rodeo” to save money.

About 20 air crews from a dozen nations were scheduled to visit McChord Air Field this July for the competition.  Two years ago, teams came from as far away as Pakistan to practice with local airmen.

Air Mobility Command commander Gen. Paul Silva cited the budget uncertainty in the Pentagon in describing his decision to cancel the rodeo. The Defense Department is carrying out $50 billion in forced budget cuts this year because of Congress’ failure to

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Update: Forced budget cuts already impacting training at JBLM; DOD civilians preparing for pay cuts

4:30 p.m. update: Tightening constraints on federal spending are already taking a bite out of military training exercises for Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers, the base’s senior Army officer said today.

The Army has cancelled two rotations for Lewis-McChord soldiers to the National Training Center, a southern California base where units demonstrate that they are ready for deployments, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown said.

Brown said the Army also is scaling back its use of the Yakima Training Center in central Washington. That high desert expanse is prime training territory for the Army because units can fire heavy weapons with fewer considerations

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Lewis-McChord airmen delivering French troops and cargo to Mali for fight against al Qaeda group

Air Force crews from Joint Base Lewis-McChord have been delivering troops and supplies to Mali for the past three weeks in support of an international mission against a North African al Qaeda affiliate.

The Air Force today announced the C-17 teams from Lewis-McChord and Dover Air Force Base hit a milestone in delivering 2 million pounds of cargo for Malian and French forces. They’re flying out Istres, France.

“The best part of this mission is being able to take part in something important and being able to say, ‘I was there. I helped make that happen,’” Airman 1st

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Inslee’s tax credit for hiring veterans and a Seattle job fair aim to smooth transitions for soldiers


Lt. Gen. Robert Brown visited Amazon this week to praise the company’s veterans’ hiring initiatives. Photo by Maj. Johnpaul Arnold.

Army and state leaders this week put a spotlight on programs aimed at hiring more veterans, seeking to build ties between the military and private employers as the Armed Forces enters a period of downsizing.

Gov. Jay Inslee today proposed a tax credit that would go to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.

His proposal says the credit would be up to percent of wages (maxing out at $3,000) for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans or

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