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Category: 62nd Medical Brigade


JBLM’s new chief of warrior transitions brings a background in medical evacuations

The Army tapped a veteran helicopter pilot from Oregon with deep experience in medical evacuations to be the newest leader of a unit that cares for ill and injured soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Lt. Col. Jeffery Mosso is the fourth commanding officer of the base’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a unit created in 2007 to care for troops in a vulnerable period in their careers when they could either leave the service or return to duty.

Mosso’s commander, Col. Dallas Homas, said the job has a “noble mission.”

“For many of your soldiers, you will help carry them through one

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Lewis-McChord hosting its last large Iraq homecoming this week

Here’s another sign that the war in Iraq is almost over:

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Tuesday is hosting what it expects to be its last significant homecoming for soldiers serving there.

Over the past eight years, tens of thousands of soldiers have passed through the base south of Tacoma on their way to and from and Iraq. Tomorrow, about 170 service members will be reunited with their friends and family following shortened combat deployments.

About 100 Lewis-McChord soldiers will be left in Iraq after tomorrow’s homecoming. They’ll come home in small groups over the next few weeks.

The Army says the

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Lewis-McChord medics and engineers returning from Afghanistan

Hundreds of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers are coming home early this week from deployments to Afghanistan.

The first group is celebrating its homecoming tonight, when the headquarters company of the 62nd Medical Brigade returns from a yearlong deployment where its medics oversaw care for more than 6,000 trauma patients. Its commander, Col. John Collins, was the top Army doctor in the country since the company hit the ground last April. About 100 soldiers from the company served with him on this mission.

Another group of about 150 soldiers from the 864th Engineer Battalion are scheduled to reunite with their friends

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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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Local links, April 5

If you haven’t had a chance, check out my colleague Steve Maynard’s excellent report about families coping with the loss of a loved one during combat.

He profiles the parents of Parkland’s Sgt. Thomas F. Allison, killed in 2002 when his helicopter crashed in the Philippines; the widow of Sgt. Gabriel DeRoo, who was killed by small-arms fire in Mosul in 2006; and the mother of Sgt. Michael T. Washington, the Tacoma Marine killed in 2008 from an IED strike in Afghanistan.

Other local links:

62nd Medical Brigade
Soldiers ‘eager’ to lend hand in Haiti [The News

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Local links, March 31

I’m back from a few days off. If you haven’t read it, check out my Sunday stories about the Stryker vehicle. In the main story, I covered a bit of the history and what folks across the military (from joes to generals) and Congress think about the vehicle today. In a sidebar, I wrote about future modifications to the vehicles. And you should check out the print edition: It’s got plenty of cool graphics, a box descrbing the 10 variants and a timeline of the Strykers vis-à-vis Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Other local links:

Military spouses

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62nd Medical Brigade prepares for deployment

Photo by Peter Haley/The News Tribune

It seemed like just a short while ago, Sgt. Lorenzo Lopez said, that he returned from a 15-month deployment to Iraq.

“Time flew,” said Lopez, a 22-year-old human resources specialist with the 62nd Medical Brigade headquarters who came back from the Middle East in October 2008. “It slides right through your fingers.”

But the Joint Base Lewis-McChord unit leaves next month for Afghanistan, the fourth time since 2003 the military has called the brigade headquarters to serve in a combat zone. Brigade officials cased the unit colors at Soldiers Field House at Lewis-McChord on Friday, the last formal event before leaving for a deployment overseas.

About 150 people will deploy and will provide command for all major medical units that provide care to NATO troops across Iraq. Subordinate units will provide a range of care, including routine medical and emergency services, surgery, dental care, medical logistics, preventative medicine, combat stress clinics, optometry, medical laboratory support, blood services and veterinary services.

The brigade will command units from all branches of the armed forces, and most of its troops will serve at Bagram Air Field Brigade commander Col. John Collins will serve as the top medical officer for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and provide oversight of all American military medical treatment facilities across the country.
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Medical units respond to Haitian earthquake

Staff Sgt. Karen Harless thinks often the Haiti’s children: kids of all ages wandering the crumbled streets of Port-au-Prince, their parents nowhere in sight. When they saw American military vehicles, they’d flag them down and ask for food and water.

“The first couple times we saw that it was pretty tough,” said Harless, the platoon sergeant of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 153rd Medical Detachment. “I have three kids myself. They were just walking around with nothing to do and nowhere to go.”

Harless was part of a 10-person blood services detachment who left Lewis-McChord in late January to help with the U.S. military’s humanitarian mission in Haiti. Two weeks later, 55 soldiers from the 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion headquarters left for Haiti.

The base’s 62nd Airlift Wing also has a presence in there: an aerial port squadron that offloads cargo at the airport, a maintenance team and aircrews that ferry supplies between Port-au-Prince and Charleston Air Force Base.

The troops are part of an American military force that arrived a week after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and killed an estimated 230,000 people.
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