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Category: Public events


Armed Services ranking Democrat Smith favors Obama’s approach to defense cuts

The Washington Democrat with the state’s biggest voice on defense issues in Congress endorsed cuts to Pentagon spending in President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal, a contrast to Republican leaders who want to maintain the military’s present budget.

“We can no longer pretend that we don’t have to make hard choices in the defense budget,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, said today at the start of a budget hearing at the House Armed Services Committee. He’s the ranking Democrat on the committee.

Obama’s budget calls for $119 billion in cuts to planned defense spending between 2017 and 2023, far less than the

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Retired Special Ops leader Eric Olson returning to Tacoma for his first talk since bin Laden raid

The Tacoma native son who went on to lead the U.S. Special Operations Command through its final stretch to find and kill Osama bin Laden is returning to his hometown this week for his first public event here since he retired from the Navy almost two years ago.

Retired Adm. Eric Olson, 61, is speaking Thursday evening at Clover Park Technical College’s McGavick Conference Center. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

He’s helping raise money for the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma’s children’s programs. Doors open at 6 p.m.,

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Bayonet! Army ceremonies revealing role for new division HQ at JBLM

I haven’t heard anyone sing the 7th Infantry Division song yet, but Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s newest command is starting to flesh out its place in the Puget Sound military community.

The newly reactivated 7th Infantry Division took leading roles in recent weeks at memorials to fallen soldiers and the deployment ceremony for the Afghanistan-bound 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Those troops now belong to the 7th ID.

These gestures reveal that the 7th ID will be as integral to Lewis-McChord as units like the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

At Fort Bragg, the 82nd often is the dominant

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Tonight: Authors of “Fobbit” and “What it is like to go to war” to speak at UW

Veteran authors from different wars will be at the University of Washington tonight to read from and sign their acclaimed books.

From the most recent war: David Abrams will be promoting “Fobbit,” his Iraq War satire. Abrams is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who spent a year in Iraq as a public affairs officer.

And from Vietnam: Karl Marlantes will be reading from his memoir, “What it is like to go to war.” Marlantes was a decorated Marine lieutenant who spent 30 years in the private sector before publishing his first novel, “Matterhorn,” in

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Cantwell in Tacoma today to promote tax credits for hiring veterans

Sen. Maria Cantwell is in Tacoma today to promote a bill that would provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.

She’s speaking this afternoon at J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding, a growing business that says veterans make up 40 percent of its payroll.

Cantwell is promoting an extension of the Returning Heroes and Wounded Heroes Work Opportunity Tax Credits through 2013. According to her office, the bill gives businesses a tax credit of up to $9,600 for each qualified veteran they hire. The credits are due to expire at the end of this year.

Her office cited figures from the Washington

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Sen. Murray announces grant to extend life of South Sound Military and Communities Partnership

Sen. Patty Murray today announced a $250,000 grant to fund a South Sound regional planning group that works with Joint Base Lewis-McChord to ease the impacts of the military’s growth in Pierce and Thurston counties.

The money from the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment  buys at least another year for the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership. That organization brings together about 15 local government and military agencies that meet to analyze growth impacts and prioritize projects that could help civilian communities adjust to the Army’s burgeoning ranks south of Tacoma. It has representatives from schools and social services,

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Start planning your visit to this weekend’s 2012 Air Expo at JBLM

There’s a buzz out there for this weekend’s 2012 Air Expo at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I’ve had a few calls today from readers looking for more information about how to get there and what they’ll see.

Here’s a link to my Monday story previewing the show. Below you’ll find the information you’ll want to plan your way on and off base this weekend.

Get more details here at the air expo’s web site.

The Washington State Patrol will be out in force looking for backups along Interstate 5 and State Route 512. Trooper Guy Gill is

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Air Force Thunderbirds returning to Lewis-McChord for summer air show

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is shooting to bring back the really, really big crowds to its bi-annual air expo by lining up two of the Defense Department’s premier demonstration groups for performances at the July event.

The top of the bill goes to the Air Force’s Thunderbirds, a Nevada-based team that helped draw more than 375,000 people to McChord’s 2008 Air Expo.

They’ll be joined by the Army’s Golden Knights, a parachute team that serves as the Army’s official aerial demonstration group.

Booking the two groups is intended to send a signal that the Army and Air

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