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Tag: 3/2


Local links, April 7

Plenty of links this morning:

Madigan Army Medical Center
Thurston County home sales up [The News Tribune]

17th Fires Brigade
Responsible Drawdown, Speaking Logistically [DVIDS]

42nd Military Police Brigade
<a href="Military Police Partner With Iraqi Security Forces to Protect Iraq's Center [DVIDS]

3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Arrowhead Best Squad Competition [DVIDS]

Fairchild Air Force Base
Fairchild Senior Airman, Larose Native, Manages Communications Support for Southwest Asia Wing [DVIDS]
Combat Stress Team Strives to Connect With Servicemembers [DVIDS]

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Yakima police to escort

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Local links, April 6

Forward Operating Base Cobra, the bare-bones outpost in northern Diyala province that soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division’s cavalry squadron moved into last year, has been receiving some upgrades lately. Among one of them is a new dining facility with contracted cooks (when Joe Barrentine and I were there, food was a major complaint among the joes). The soldiers named the new DFAC after Pfc. Erin McLyman, the Oregon native who was killed last month from indirect fire.

“I didn’t get a chance to know Pfc. McLyman, but I knew about her,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Joseph

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Local links, April 5

If you haven’t had a chance, check out my colleague Steve Maynard’s excellent report about families coping with the loss of a loved one during combat.

He profiles the parents of Parkland’s Sgt. Thomas F. Allison, killed in 2002 when his helicopter crashed in the Philippines; the widow of Sgt. Gabriel DeRoo, who was killed by small-arms fire in Mosul in 2006; and the mother of Sgt. Michael T. Washington, the Tacoma Marine killed in 2008 from an IED strike in Afghanistan.

Other local links:

62nd Medical Brigade
Soldiers ‘eager’ to lend hand in Haiti [The News

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Madigan prepares for returning Strykers

Three Joint Base Lewis-McChord Stryker brigades are returning home from war this year, and Madigan Army Medical Center will temporarily expand its behavioral-health staff and implement new screening programs to deal with the mental-health issues of deployment.

Hospital staff will be paying particular attention to 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which has lost 35 soldiers and seen frequent combat since it deployed to southern Afghanistan last July.

Piggybacking off post-deployment programs already in place, Madigan officials will collect additional behavioral-health information and screen them again shortly after they return home.

“It’s no surprise the Army is searching for the right answer for this: How do you take care of soldiers and families during this whole cycle?” said Col. Mark Thompson, the hospital’s deputy commander for clinical services.
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Local links, April 1

Yesterday was a grim milestone for 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division: The Pentagon announced the 35th death of the brigade’s yearlong deployment.

(For what it’s worth, the brigade says they’ve lost 37 soldiers. Our two counts vary because 5/2 counts two civil affairs soldiers who were attached to the unit but not from Lewis-McChord.)

Other local links:

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Fallen soldier was close to returning home [Yakima Herald-Republic]
Lewis-McChord unit loses 35th soldier [Associated Press]
Chugiak graduate killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan [Anchorage Daily News]
Yakima soldier

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Friends remember soldier’s smile, tenacity

Photo by Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune

Pfc. Erin McLyman wanted to return to Iraq. A broken neck couldn’t stop her.

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier suffered the injury during leave earlier this year. She told her commanders in the 296th Brigade Support Battalion she planned come back as quickly as she could.

Against the odds, McLyman rejoined her comrades on Feb. 14.

And less than a month later, an indirect-fire round killed the 26-year-old Eugene, Ore., native.

“It is no secret that she quite easily could have parlayed her circumstance to personal advantage,” Lt. Col. Elisabeth Crooks said Wednesday during McLyman’s memorial service at Lewis-McChord. “But Pfc. McLyman’s sense of duty and loyalty to her team drove her back to theater to stand beside Arrowhead soldiers in combat, once again.”

Crooks, who was reading comments made by battalion commander Lt. Col. Hayden Hungerford during a memorial service earlier this month in Iraq, didn’t give the date or events that led to McLyman’s injury. But Crooks talked of an extensive recovery period and said there was initially little hope McLyman would be medically cleared to return to combat.
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Local links, March 31

I’m back from a few days off. If you haven’t read it, check out my Sunday stories about the Stryker vehicle. In the main story, I covered a bit of the history and what folks across the military (from joes to generals) and Congress think about the vehicle today. In a sidebar, I wrote about future modifications to the vehicles. And you should check out the print edition: It’s got plenty of cool graphics, a box descrbing the 10 variants and a timeline of the Strykers vis-à-vis Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Other local links:

Military spouses

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O’Reilly’s full Stryker critique

I wrote the Sunday centerpiece about the Stryker vehicle. Most of the story quotes people who think the Stryker is the right platform for the military for today’s wars and future wars.

Of course, some disagree. One such person, Irish author Victor O’Reilly, was one of the system’s most vocal critics during the transformation a decade ago. He wrote a report for a congressman (he “measured my research material in yards and had sources from the CSA’s office to the Air Force”) before the first brigade went into Iraq that panned the system.

Years later, he’s still not convinced. I can to briefly summarize what he wrote me. But I hope it can spark conversation by posting his full critique here. It’s just below the jump:
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