FOB Tacoma

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Lakewood seeking donations for returning 4-2 soldiers

The city of Lakewood is accepting donations to assist single soldiers assigned to a Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigade set to return home this summer.

Residents interested in making donations can drop items off at the front counter on the third floor of Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW, or at the Lakewood Police Department, 9401 Lakewood Dr. SW. Donations will be accepted through the end of June.

The donated items will be forwarded to the family readiness groups for the Dragoon Raiders brigade who will place them in the soldiers’ barracks before they return. Residents can also learn

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Panetta releases statement on ‘fiscal cliff’ deal

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta just issued the following statement related to the deal reached in Congress on the so-called “fiscal cliff,” which included automatic cuts in military spending:

On behalf of the Department of Defense, I want to express our thanks to the Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who voted to temporarily avert sequestration.  Hopefully, this will allow additional time to develop a balanced deficit reduction plan that would permanently prevent these arbitrary cuts.

“Had Congress not acted, the Department of Defense — along with other federal agencies — would have been forced to begin taking dramatic steps

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JBLM trial update: Pilot’s fate is in jury’s hands; family of fallen paratrooper upset with blame game

6:30 p.m. update: Closing arguments are complete and a court-martial panel composed of 10 Air Force officers is weighing the reckless endangerment and dereliction of duty charges against Capt. Jared Foley. A verdict could come tonight, but seems more likely to be released tomorrow.

Prosecutor Capt. Mark Rosenow showed respect to Foley’s reputation as a careful, meticulous pilot but charged that Foley made a fatal error when he allowed a sixth pass over a Montana Air Field on July 10, 2011  after the previous jump ended with a paratrooper landing outside of an established drop zone.

Under Air Force regulations,

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Army EOD sergeant from JBLM killed in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive


A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier trained to disable the enemy’s lethal, handmade bombs in Afghanistan was killed by an explosive on Saturday, the Defense Department announced tonight.

Kenneth Wade Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif. was killed in the Sperwan Gar area of Kandahar province. He was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company of Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion.

EOD companies belonging to the 3rd battalion are serving throughout southern Afghanistan in small teams this year, attaching themselves to infantry units patrolling through dangerous terrain in the Taliban’s birthplace.

Bennett was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He served

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FOB Tacoma now using Facebook comments

Something’s changed on FOB Tacoma: You now use your Facebook account to post comments.

Editor Karen Peterson wrote a column explaining the reasons for the switch.

The change also will allow readers to share their comment with their Facebook friends by checking a “post to Facebook” box below the comment field.

If you have any questions or comments on this change, please send us an email at


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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Father says Lewis-McChord soldier killed in blast

Another Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier has died in Afghanistan, according to his family.

Spc. Trevor Pinnick, 20, of Lawrenceville, Ill., died Monday when a mine exploded, his father, Thomas Pinnick, told The Telegraph newspaper.

Pinnick, who received a promotion in rank shortly before his death, was assigned to the engineer company under the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. He joined the unit after it deployed to Afghanistan in December.

His father told the newspaper Pinnick searched for and defused improvised explosive devices during his deployment and he planned to make a career in the Army.

“He wanted to

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