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Tag: stryker

Oct.
22nd

Bomb kills Fort Lewis Stryker soldier

A Fort Lewis soldier was killed Wednesday in southern Afghanistan when a bomb detonated near his vehicle.

Spc. Kyle A. Coumas, a 22-year-old infantryman from Lockeford, Calif., was killed in Kandahar province, where much of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division battling an entrenched Taliban presence.

Coumas is the 18th soldier from 5th Brigade to die since the 4,000-member unit left Fort Lewis in July. Twelve of those deaths have come from Coumas’ 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment.

He is the second Fort Lewis soldier in the past four days to die in Afghanistan. Spc. Michael A. Dahl Jr., also of

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Sep.
28th

3/2 soldiers find weapons caches

The troops of 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division found three weapons caches last week.

Soldiers from 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment and Iraqi security forces discovered the weapons during joint reconnaissance missions near Al Byaa in Diyala province last week, according to a press release.

The caches included 108 mortar fuses, six mortat boosters, an 82mm mortar body, a 62mm mortar body, a rocket-propelled grenade booster, an explosive charge with blasting cap and initiator, a mortar sight, a DShK round, an M-67 hand grenade and an oxygen tank.

“The discovery of these caches prevented violence in Diyala province,” brigade spokeswoman

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Sep.
21st

New rules await Stryker brigades in Iraq

strykiniraqSOFA

Lt. Col. Michael Lawrence drew two separate circles on a piece of paper. One symbolized how the American military used to run its missions in Iraq, from initial planning to soldiers moving on the ground. The other represented a similar process for the Iraqi army. Only after both planned an operation would the two come together.

Then Lawrence flipped the paper over and drew two more circles, one inside another.

This, said the Fort Lewis Stryker battalion commander, is the new way of doing business in Iraq.

“It’s all the same process now,” he said. “We’re getting information together. We’re targeting together. We’re planning operations together. And, if they ask, we’ll fight together.”

Two Fort Lewis Stryker brigades totaling nearly 8,000 soldiers will be serving in Iraq by the end of September, and a key clause in the security agreement signed in 2008 between the United States and Iraq means their year-long deployments will be far different than previous ones.

The status of forces agreement required all U.S. combat forces to withdraw from cities and towns by June 30. Since then, American troops are keeping a lower profile and increasingly staying on bases while their Iraqi counterparts lead missions in urban areas.

The changing roles are consistent with the declining number of American military deaths in Iraq. In recent months, they have hit their lowest levels since the 2003 invasion. Sixteen service members have been killed under hostile conditions since June 30. None were from Fort Lewis.

By comparison, in Afghanistan — where U.S. troops continue to take the lead against a strengthening insurgency —  114 American service members have been killed during the same period. That includes 11 members of 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis.
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Aug.
28th

Former teacher: Slain soldier ‘sweet young man’

From News Tribune staff writer Steve Maynard:

A Fort Lewis soldier and Federal Way native who was killed in Afghanistan was remembered Friday as a “sweet young man” with a quick sense of humor.

Pfc. Dennis M. Williams, 24, who was killed Tuesday, is survived by his wife, Maria, a young daughter and a newborn son, said Pat Adkins, a neighbor and former teacher of Williams.

Adkins said Williams “always had a funny comeback to everything.” She wants people to remember Williams for his “non-ending smile and his sense of humor.”

“He had a lot of friends because of that,”

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Aug.
25th

More pics from 4/2 departure ceremony

TNT photographer Joe Barrentine kept busy at today’s color-casing ceremony for 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. Here’s some of his work:

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jack Woodall, left, helps Col. John G. Norris case the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division's colors. (Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Jack Woodall, left, helps Col. John G. Norris case the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division's colors. (Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)

Sgt. Tyler Young, left, and his wife, Erin, swing their 2-year-old son, Marcus, as they leave Watkins Field on Tuesday. (Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)
Sgt. Tyler Young, left, and his wife, Erin, swing their 2-year-old son, Marcus, as they leave Watkins Field on Tuesday. (Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)

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Aug.
25th

Past meets present at 4/2 departure ceremony

Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division pose with Hooters waitresses at Tuesday's color-casing ceremony. (Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)
Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division pose with Hooters waitresses at Tuesday's color-casing ceremony. (Joe Barrentine/The News Tribune)

During a day dedicated to the future, much of the focus was on the past.

Veterans from World War II and the Korean War helped case the colors for 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division ahead of leaving for Iraq. Speeches centered on the unit’s success on its first deployment as part of the 2007 troop surge.

But the 4,000 soldiers of the brigade leave soon for Iraq, where a different atmosphere awaits them. The dystopian levels of violence have dropped. The new security agreement means American soldiers are going on fewer combat missions. And training up the Iraqi military is of even greater importance.

The brigade’s deployment is crucial to the long-term stability in Iraq, the acting post commander told thousands assembled at Watkins Field for the ceremony.

“You are the men and women who will help create change and help transform Iraq,” Brig. Gen Jeff Mathis said. “You know the infrastructure, you know the government, and you know the people. Bottom line: You know Iraq better than anyone.”
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Aug.
24th

4/2 Strykers case colors tomorrow

Fort Lewis’ 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division will case its colors tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Watkins field ahead of its second deployment to Iraq.

The brigade of more than 4,000 soldiers is headed to Baghdad later this summer. It last deployed for 15 months in April 2007 as part of the troops surge, serving in Baghdad in Diyala province.

Here’s the neat part of the ceremony. From the press release:

More than 200 veterans from 2nd Infantry Division will also attend the ceremony, and will help case the colors of the battalions they served in during World War II

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