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Category: Washington National Guard


More than 800 workers at Washington National Guard facing furloughs

Mandatory furloughs for Defense Department civilian employees are taking a bite out of paychecks on both sides of Interstate 5.

About 850 employees of the Washington National Guard – headquartered at Camp Murray in Lakewood – are scheduled to take 11 unpaid days off from this week through the end of September, just like their counterparts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on the other side of the highway.

Washington Military Department spokeswoman Karina Shagren said the furloughs will cut into maintenance, training and morale. The Washington National Guard received four furlough exemptions, one of them for sexual assault prevention coordinator.


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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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State prepares for looming defense cuts with report that argues for more Pentagon spending

Washington’s congressional delegation today released a report that makes a case for steady or increased military spending in the state even as the Pentagon eyes budget cuts across the services.

The 132-page report created by the Washington Military Alliance outlines more than $13 billion in defense spending at military installations from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Naval Base Kitsap in the Puget Sound to Fairchild Air Force Base in eastern Washington.

It contends those resources should be maintained because they support the Pentagon’s recent emphasis on Pacific threats and defense of cyber networks.

It also calls on civilian governments

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Panetta describes cyber attacks on U.S. utilities, showing urgency of new role for WA Guard

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s call to arms on cyber security Thursday highlights the urgency of the Washington National Guard’s effort to get its citizen soldiers to work protecting utility and municipal digital networks.

Panetta in a New York speech described efforts by foreign organizations to gain control of domestic computers running electric, chemical, water and transportation networks.

“We also know they are seeking to create advanced tools to attack these systems and cause panic, destruction and even the loss of life,” he said.

“An aggressor nation or extremist group could gain control of critical switches and derail passenger

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Washington National Guard brings home Afghan advisers, says goodbye to MP unit

The Washington National Guard this week is bringing home one group of soldiers from Afghanistan while sending another set of military police on their way for nine-month deployment to the war.

The returning soldiers spent the past year advising Afghan security forces in small teams spread out across remote parts of the country’s northern borders. Three of the 30 soldiers in the guard’s so-called stability transition teams suffered serious injuries in different attacks on their outposts in February and April.

The National Guard said the soldiers “survived and are recovering well.”

“The Washington National Guard family is happy

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Washington National Guard sends two copters to fight fire

The Washington National Guard deployed two helicopters equipped with water buckets Friday morning to assist firefighter efforts in Central Washington.

A five-member crew is aboard a twin-rotored Chinook helicopter carrying a 2,000-gallon bucket, and a four-member crew is flying on a Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a 660-gallon bucket.

They are headed to the Wenatchee Complex fire. You can read the Wenatchee World’s ongoing coverage of the fire by clicking here.

“We are proud to support efforts already in progress in Chelan and Douglas counties, anad we will do all we can to keep the flames from people and structures,”

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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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