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Category: National Guard/Reserve


After mothballing armory, National Guard returning to Pierce County with new readiness center

4:10 p.m. update: Wait, wait there’s more.

The state Military Department is budgeting $33.6 million for this project, with the Army setting aside about $27 million and the state contributing $6.6 million.

These details came to light when State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, called. She helped the state Military Department find the Buckley location and she views the readiness center as a vital addition to that community’s economy.

“This is so big for Buckley,” she said.

1:20 p.m. update: The National Guard might select a site outside of Tacoma for the readiness center it plans to build, a National Guard

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Evergreen State lawmakers lobby Air Force to place new refueling tankers at Fairchild

The Evergreen State’s congressional delegation today renewed its push to secure the future of Fairchild Air Force Base by asking the Air Force to place its newest refueling tankers at the Eastern Washington airfield.

The lawmakers contend the Air Force has good reasons to place a squadron of KC-46A refueling tankers at Fairchild.

That tanker is meant to replace a jet that calls Fairchild home, the decades-old KC-135. It’s flown by the Fairchild-based Air Force 92nd Air Refueling Wing and the Washington National Guard’s 141st Air Refueling Wing.

They further write that stationing the KC-46A jets at Fairchild would conform

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Oregon National Guard on notice for Afghanistan mission in 2014

Mike Francis at The Oregonian reports today that the Defense Departmant put the Oregon National Guard on notice that it could deploy to Afghanistan in 2014.

The notification of sourcing impacts some 1,800 Oregon citizen soldiers in the 41st Brigade Combat Team. These soldiers could be turning the lights out at NATO bases if Western forces follow through on plans to drawn down their combat units by 2014.

Francis reports that one battalion in the Oregon National Guard played a similar role in Iraq two years ago, deploying as the Pentagon scaled town the mission of American units there.

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WA Guard back in business of fighting fires – first time since 2009

The Washington National Guard today sent two helicopters to join in the effort against the blaze in Kittitas County, marking the first time the state Military Department participated in a wildfire fight since 2009.

Last year, we reported that deployments had depleted the Washington National Guard’s firefighting resources among its aviation crews during the summer. Luckily, it was a wet year and the crews weren’t needed.

Today, the guard sent one four-person crew in a CH-47 Chinook with a 2,000 gallon water bucket and a three-person crew in a UH-60 with a 660 gallon bucket to participate in

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Washington recognized for protecting military voting rights

Washington today was one of 15 states praised today by the Military Voter Protection Project for – you guessed it – looking after the voting rights of service members at home and abroad.

Check out the report here.

Washington stood out in part for passing a law last year that moved up the state’s primary elections from September to August to provide service members more time to receive and return their ballots.

The Military Voter Protection Project looked at states’ outreach efforts, their use of electronic and web-based services, their willingness to adopt communications programs to

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Washington airman to receive Silver Star for heroism in repelling Taliban ambush

A Washington National Guardsman who helped repel a massive ambush by more than 200 Taliban insurgents in a 13-hour battle last year will a receive a Silver Star for his heroism, the National Guard announced today.

Technical Sgt. Tavis Delaney’s honor represents the third Silver Star for the Washington National Guard to emerge from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Delaney is to receive is medal in a ceremony on Sunday, May 6.

He distinguished himself by putting himself in mortal danger to call in close air strikes against Taliban fighters who held the high ground in an ambush against

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Embed update: U.S. troops fight “green on blue” killings with caution, relationships

KABUL – Army Command Sgt. Major John Troxell is one of the highest ranking, most experienced U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan this year. His counterpart in the Afghan army has the same prestige.

They trust each other, but whenever they meet one another, each soldier brings a personal security team.

“I always have someone locked and loaded, passively watching,” Troxell said.

His safety precautions are being replicated throughout the NATO headquarters where he works and its connected bases around Kabul.

They grew in importance this year in the wake of a string of incidents that left 17 NATO service members

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Defense budget steers more money to Washington for military construction at JBLM, Kitsap

Spending on military construction in Washington State continues to rise in President Obama’s 2013 budget request despite talk of nationwide defense cuts.

The state would gain $581 million for work at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Base Kitsap and Naval Station Whidbey Island, up from $519 million in Obama’s 2012 defense budget.

About half of the state’s military construction work in 2013 would take place at Lewis-McChord. The base south of Tacoma stands to receive $91 million for a long-awaited sewage plant upgrade, as well as $73 million for a new battalion complex.

The base’s growing Special Forces units

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