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Tag: 4/2


Local links, March 15

This weekend’s top story? The return of I Corps, of course.

Other local links:

I Corps
Star power returns to Joint Base Lewis-McChord [KING-TV]
50 local soldiers return from Iraq [KOMO-TV]
III Corps Uncases Colors, Begins Mission As Nucleus of U.S. Forces – Iraq [DVIDS]
Communication Wins Wars [DVIDS]

Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Stimulus spending? Next year will be big [The News Tribune]

McChord Field
Iraqi Children to Receive Refurbished Desks [DVIDS]

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
U.S. soldier in Afghanistan has a dream [Associated Press]

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Local links, March 10

This story from the public affairs staff at the 446th Airlift Wing is particularly touching. It’s about a lieutenant colonel diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma while in New Zealand for Operation Deep Freeze last year.

Lt. Col. Joe Nauman, the commander of the 97th Airlift Squadron, is feeling better. But he wanted to thank the Kiwi doctor who diagnosed him, so he flew back to Christchurch to show his appreciation in person.

This blog is often filled with stories of death and suffering, so a story like this is a nice change of pace to start the day.

Other local

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Local links, March 9

Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord troops in southern Afghanistan yesterday ahead of a planned operation to take back parts of Kandahar province.

He spoke with soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment at Forward Operating Base Frontenac. From the AP story:

“You all have had a very tough time,” especially at the start of the tour, Gates told members of the 800-soldier unit. “You came into an area totally controlled by the Taliban. You fought for a critical battle space, you bled for it and now you own it.”

He told the troops that as the

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4th Brigade deputy commander: ‘The will of the people triumphed’

The bombs began erupting around Baghdad shortly before the polls opened, and explosions rang out every five minutes by mid-morning.

But throughout western Baghdad province, an area overseen by Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers, tens of thousands of Iraqis defied the violence and cast their ballots in the second parliamentary election since the American-led invasion.

The last bomb exploded by 11:30 a.m. And the 21 platoon-sized quick reaction forces from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division standing by in the event of an attack never received a call for help.

“The (bombers) tried to spread the perception that Baghdad was under siege,” deputy brigade commander Lt. Col. Darron Wright said Monday. “They failed in their attempt to intimidate the voters.”
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Local links, March 8

We could lead today’s local links list with easily the most newsworthy story of the weekend: Iraq’s parliamentary elections.

But readers of The News Tribune apparently like reading — and commenting on — something a bit closer to home: The sentencing of a Madigan Army Medical Center neurosurgeon for a 2009 road rage incident.

One quote from Dr. Dennis Geyer really appeared to rankle the masses: “As a West Point graduate, and a U.S. Army officer, I always speak the truth,” he told the judge. “I only struck Mr. Speed once. People may find that hard to believe, but

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Lewis-McChord troops prepare for election

(This story will run in Sunday’s News Tribune)

American troops should be out of sight from polling places today as Iraqis elect a parliament for the second time since the fall of Saddam Hussein. But Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers are working behind the scenes throughout the country.

From Baghdad to Basra to Diyala, many of the 12,000 troops from Lewis-McChord have trained Iraqi soldiers to secure today’s polling. They will also provide support and remain on call to intervene in any attacks.

For many troops, the vast majority of whom arrived in Iraq last year, today’s election is the climactic event of their 12-month deployment.

And for ordinary Iraqis, the election represents a pivotal moment in the nation’s post-invasion history. Much remained unknown as the country went to the polls: Would there be violence? Would the Sunnis, who largely boycotted the 2005 election, vote en masse? Would Nouri al-Maliki remain the prime minister? And if not, how will his successor view the presence of American troops?

“If they are secure, legit, credible elections, and the people come out and vote – and there’s every indication right now they’re going to vote across all sectors of society – and then that government is seated, that’s a huge step forward for Iraq,” Brig. Gen. Peter Bayer, the I Corps chief of staff, said in an interview in February.

I Corps and its roughly 1,000 soldiers are in the midst of returning home to Lewis-McChord, although the headquarters is still officially in charge of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq for the election.

The Americans will provide assistance to Iraqi security forces in areas of expertise where the latter is lacking, such as aerial reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, close-air support, explosive ordnance disposal and medical evacuation.

U.S. troops are positioned throughout the country, far enough from polling sites so Iraqi civilians won’t notice but close enough to respond to an attack.

Such an intervention, Lewis-McChord officials stress, can only happen at the request of the Iraqi military.

“We’re not to be seen, but we’re not to be on bases either,” said Lt. Col. Darron Wright, deputy commander of 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division – a Stryker brigade deployed to western Baghdad.

Col. Steven Bullimore, commander of 17th Fires Brigade in southern Iraq, put it this way: “Be ready, stand by and stay out of the way.”

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V-shaped hull for Strykers

A change to the design of the Army’s Stryker vehicle to make it more likely to withstand a blast from a roadside bomb should be coming soon, the service’s chief of staff told lawmakers Wednesday.

Gen. George Casey told the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee that it’s “probability more than a possibility” that Army will add a V-shaped hull to the bottom of the 20-ton vehicle. The shape of the hull would help deflect blasts from the Stryker’s underbelly and is modeled from a similar design in the Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected class of armored vehicles.

“I can’t

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Local links, March 5

Plenty of links overnight:

5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Avengers, ANA Take Historic Trip [DVIDS]
Home Is Where the Music Is [DVIDS]

4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
2-23 ‘Tomahawks’ Bond Through Organizational Day [DVIDS]
IA, U.S. Participate in Humanitarian Aid Mission for School Children [DVIDS]
Key Leader Engagement [DVIDS]

3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division
Election Meeting [DVIDS]

17th Fires Brigade
Iraqi Hero Medic Receives Medevac Training [DVIDS]
Night Operations [DVIDS]

Western Air Defense Sector
MANG F-15’s Get Advanced Communcation System [KFBB-TV]


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