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Tag: afghanistan

June
16th

3 more Lewis-McChord soldiers charged in Afghanistan deaths

Three more soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord had been charged in the deaths of three Afghan civilians earlier this year.

Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Holmes, Spc. Michael Wagnon and Spc. Adam Winfield were charged Tuesday evening with one count of murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to a news release issued today from the base. Each is accused in separate incidents.

The three men returned to Lewis-McChord on Monday and have been placed in pretrial confinement.

Five soldiers from the base are now accused in the deaths of Afghan civilians between January and May. Details of the

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March
31st

Photog injured with 5/2 troops returns to work

Emilio Morenatti, the Associated Press photographer who was riding in a Stryker with Fort Lewis troops when it hit a roadside bomb, an incident that led to the loss of his foot, has returned to work.

Morenatti has shot some stellar photos from Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last few years. Check out a few of his photos here.

March
31st

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
Abrupt

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March
19th

How Stryker troops helped in Marjah

The Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers dodged roadside bombs. They took sniper fire from housing compounds and machine gun fire from mosques. Taliban fighters attacked them from crowds filled with women and children.

One insurgent dressed in a burqa and passed himself off as a female bystander before firing at troops.

Enemy fighters repeatedly tried to exploit NATO troops’ restrictive rules of engagement throughout the 3 1/2 weeks the Stryker soldiers fought as part of the largest operation of the Afghanistan war, Lt. Col. Burton Shields of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division told The News Tribune this week.

“They fired from compounds, from mosques to try to get us to create civilian casualties,” said Shields, the commander of 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment. “They were trying to create that rift between us and the local population.”

But Shields, a 43-year-old North Carolina native, said in a phone interview that his soldiers “showed a tremendous amount of restraint and discipline” in such situations.

The Stryker unit evacuated five of its own for medical reasons: two from gunshot wounds and three from injuries sustained during roadside bomb strikes. All are expected to recover, Shields said.
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March
16th

Dicks’ take on Afghanistan


U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair

I’m working on a story about the future (and past and present) of the Stryker program. So yesterday I talked to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks the Belfair Democrat now presiding over the House defense appropriations subcommittee. (The subcommittee oversees the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget.)

He recently traveled to Afghanistan as part of a congressional delegation. While there, he met with Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and others. Dicks had lots to say about the war there that won’t quite fit the scope of my story. But this blog’s readers might enjoy reading some of what he said.

On Operation Moshtarak, which cleared the Marjah district of Helmand province of Taliban insurgents: The next part will be the most difficult part, with governance and construction and efforts to do projects in that area.

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March
9th

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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March
6th

Rollover kills Lewis-McChord soldier

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was killed Thursday when his vehicle rolled over in Afghanistan.

Spc. Anthony A. Paci, 30, was serving with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment in Gereshk in the southern province of Helmand, the Pentagon announced Saturday. Two other soldiers were injured in the incident.

Paci is the 22nd soldier – and the first since November – from his battalion to die since it deployed as part of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in July. Thirty-four soldiers from the brigade have been killed.

The Rockville, Md., native enlisted on October 20, 2004, and trained as an indirect

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