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Category: 81st Brigade Combat Team


WA National Guard brigade taken off upcoming deployment roster

The Defense Department today took the 3,000 soldiers of the Washington National Guard’s 81st Brigade Combat Team off of a roster of units being considered for upcoming deployments.

Last May, the Pentagon sent a “notice of sourcing” to the 81st indicating that it could be tapped for a future deployment, one that likely would have sent the soldiers overseas next spring. The Defense Department did not say at the time where that deployment would have taken place.

The brigade deployed twice to Iraq, serving in 2004-05 and in 2008-09.

“The nature of being a citizen-soldier is a posture of perpetual

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WA Guard suicides rise even as prevention efforts pay off with interventions

The Washington National Guard is seeing mixed results from an “all hands” effort to halt service member suicides, military leaders told state lawmakers in a briefing Wednesday.

The number of suicides among Washington Army and Air Guard service members increased from 0 in 2010 to four so far this year. Seven Washington National Guard soldiers took their own lives in 2009.

But leaders are taking heart in multiple successful suicide interventions that they attribute to enhanced awareness about behavioral health concerns in the military.

“These efforts are saving lives,” Washington National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg said. “We have

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Washington National Guard on notice for deployments

About 3,000 soldiers in the Washington National Guard are available for deployments overseas, the Army announced today.

The 81st Brigade Combat Team and 506th Military Police Company received notices of sourcing from the Pentagon, meaning they could be tapped for an upcoming deployment.

The units have not received formal mobilization orders.

“We will continue to ensure our families are cared for, our civilian employers are informed and our soldiers are proficient in their warrior tasks,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg, the adjutant general of the Washington National Guard.

The 81st Brigade Combat Team has participated in two large

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Local links, March 4

We’ve published the final articles Joe and I sent in from our trip to Iraq. Both are profiles: one of Capt. Junior Tupuola, a chaplain whose like took a long, twisting path to the service. The other is on Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe, the top NCO in I Corps who is, to say the least, quite a personality.

Other local links:

3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
2-19th Iraqi Army Division, Task Force Wings Conduct a Large-scale Partnered Air Assault [DVIDS]

4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Soldiers Gain More ‘trigger Time’ at EST 2000

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UPDATED: Lower your flags

From the guv’s office:

Governor Chris Gregoire has directed flags at all Washington State agencies lowered to half-staff on Monday, March 1, 2010, in memory of U. S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Eric L. Ward, 19, of Redmond, who was killed in Afghanistan on February 21.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business on Monday, or until first thing Tuesday morning, March 2.

UPDATE: Got this today:

Governor Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington State agency facilities be lowered to half-staff Tuesday, March 2, in memory of Specialist William C. Spencer who died of injuries

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Washington Guardsman dies from Iraq injury

A Washington National Guard soldier from Tacoma who chose to stay in Iraq after his unit returned home died Wednesday in an American military hospital in Germany.

Sgt. William Spencer, 40, was injured in Iraq and evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The injury was not combat related, according to a National Guard press release.

A Pentagon press release said Spencer died “while supporting combat operations at Combat Outpost Marez” in the northern city of Mosul.

Spencer deployed with the 81st Brigade Combat Team in August 2009 and chose to stay with the Mississippi National Guard unit that replaced

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Local links, Feb. 26

The Olympian carried a brief today about an event next week dubbed Religion in Wartime. It’ll take place at The Evergreen State College and features some local military names, including James Yee, the former Fort Lewis chaplain who later served at Gitmo and was accused of spying and espionage. (He was later cleared and previously has had some unfriendly things to say about the military’s tolerance of Islam.)

Capt. Kelly Hansen, a chaplain at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will also be there. She deployed in 2008-09 with the Washington National Guard’s 81st Brigade Combat Team.

Other local links:

24th Quartermaster

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Local links, Oct. 27

Be sure to check out this nice piece by my Olympian colleague, Christian Hill, about soldiers who lost limbs overseas and how they’re recovering with the help of prosthetics technology.

Other local links:

81st Brigade Combat Team
Moses Lake soldiers saluted [Columbia Basin Herald]

Hal Bernton in Afghanistan
A trip west with the ambassador [Seattle Times]
Hashing through Kabul [Seattle Times]

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
‘He died an American hero’ [Journal Times]
Remembering a soldier who used to call Wisconsin home [WITI-TV]

1st Special Forces Group

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