Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Military Spending
11:52 am
Mon February 24, 2014

How Will The Proposed Pentagon Cuts Affect Washington State?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, where he recommended shrinking the Army to its smallest size since the buildup to U.S. involvement in World War II in an effort to balance postwar defense needs with bu
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Ross Reynolds speaks with Adam Ashton, military reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune, about the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's proposed Pentagon budget cuts and how it would impact local military communities.

Command Culture
7:47 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Department Of Defense Declines To Release Investigation Into Bales' Command

Masooma, pictured with her children, recounted the events of pre-dawn March 11, 2012 when she says a U.S. soldier rampaged through two villages killing 16 people, mostly children. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales pleaded guilty to the massacre.
AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

The Department of Defense has denied a request by reporters for information about Staff Sergeant Robert Bales’ murder of 16 Afghan civilians.

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Veteran Jobs
9:16 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Microsoft Exec: Soldiers Make Great Software Developers

Jason Keefer in class at Joint Base Lewis-McChord,Washington.
Credit KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A new program in Lacey, Wash., gives soldiers training and a career track in software development after discharge from the Army.

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord
8:29 am
Tue October 8, 2013

3 Wash. Soldiers Jailed Following Stabbing Death

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 4:42 pm

Three Washington-based soldiers are in jail after the stabbing death of a fellow soldier over the weekend. The arrests came after the person who allegedly wielded the knife sought medical treatment for a cut to his hand.

Police say the murder happened off base following an exchange of words between two groups of Joint Base Lewis-McChord servicemen. A roadside confrontation seemed to end peacefully once everyone realized they were fellow soldiers.

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Afghan Massacre
6:49 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Thought Of 'Flames Of Hell' For Sgt. Bales Comforts Afghans

Sadiqullah (center), who was shot by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and was a witness in the trial, stands with some of the Afghan civilians who traveled from Kandahar to the U.S. for Bales' trial. Translator Ahmad Shafi is at left, in the blue shirt.
Martin Kaste NPR

It was jarring for survivors and witnesses of the 2012 attack by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on two villages in Afghanistan to come to the U.S. to testify at his trial this month, translator Ahmad Shafi tells Morning Edition.

They were at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord — a place much different than their homes in Kandahar. What's more, the U.S. military's system of justice was strange to them.

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Staff Sgt Robert Bales
11:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

U.S. Soldier Sentenced To Life In Afghan Village Attacks

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, foreground, is seen in a courtroom sketch earlier this week, as prosecutor Lt. Col. Jay Morse, right, speaks to the jury. Bales was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday.
Peter Millett AP

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 1:14 pm

A military jury has sentenced Robert Bales, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who admitted to killing 16 Afghan civilians in 2012, to life in prison without parole. During the punishment hearings held this week, Bales was confronted by family members of victims and people who survived the attacks of March 11, 2012.

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Soldier Award
8:19 am
Tue July 30, 2013

JBLM Solider To Receive Medal Of Honor

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter.
US Army

A solider from Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Spokane-born Staff Sgt. Ty Carter of  will be one of only a handful of living American soldiers to receive the nation’s highest military honor. The Army says US troops were far outnumbered that day in 2009 at Combat Outpost Keating in eastern Afghanistan. During the battle the Army says Carter killed enemy troops and risked his own life to save an injured soldier pinned down by a barrage of enemy fire.

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Troop Reductions
2:37 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Army Will Reduce JBLM Troop Numbers By Deactivating 4th Stryker Brigade

Soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of JBLM prep their Stryker fighting vehicles and equipment for training.
Flickr Photo/The U.S. Army

The Army says Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 4th Stryker Brigade will be one of 10 combat teams deactivated nationwide. The move is just one part of the Army’s plan to reduce its forces as the war in Afghanistan winds down.

The brigade has about 4,000 soldiers. Nearly 350 of them returned home Sunday after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan. Overall, the Army plans to reduce the force by 80,000 soldiers by 2017.

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Guilty Verdict
3:27 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Guilty Verdict At JBLM In Trial Of Sgt. Accused of Baghdad Shooting Spree

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:39 am

A case that featured harrowing testimony of combat-related mental illness ended Monday with a guilty verdict. Army Sergeant John Russell was convicted for murdering five fellow servicemen at a military mental health clinic in Baghdad in 2009.

A military judge found the 48-year-old Texas native guilty of premeditated murder. A public affairs spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma says Sergeant Russell showed no visible reaction.

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Military Intelligence
2:39 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

North Korea May Have A Nuclear Warhead To Put On A Missile, Says Pentagon

A South Korean soldier stands at a military checkpoint connecting South and North Korea at the Unification Bridge last week in Paju, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 4:13 am

The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.

NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.

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Federal Budget Impact
5:11 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Defense Contractor Lays Off One-Third Of Its Joint Base Lewis-McChord Staff

Elizabeth Sowersby was laid off from her job as a helicopter electrician at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Last week the Department of Defense delayed anticipated furlough notices for civilian employees. The DOD said the two-week delay would allow it to analyze the impact of the federal budget sequester on its workforce.

But not everyone got a reprieve.

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Military Families
9:55 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Military Marriage Endures Despite Multiple Deployments

The Silsby family of Lacey welcomes home dad Chris Silsby from his latest deployment with 3rd Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Credit Photo courtesy Stephanie Silsby

Love is a popular theme today and for retailers, it's a cash cow of hearts and roses. But relationships that endure take work. For the Silsby family of Lacey the secret is weathering change.

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Freedom Of Information
7:06 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Army Keeps A Lid On Madigan PTSD Investigation

Army Secretary John McHugh talks with reporters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Patricia Murphy

The Army says it won’t release the investigation into how Madigan Army Medical Center handled some soldiers' diagnoses for post-traumatic stress disorder. The denial comes one week after the Secretary of the Army visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Tacoma, to announce the completion of an Army-wide review on the same subject.

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Joint Base Lewis-McChord Murder Case
10:25 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Military Judge Orders Sanity Review For Soldier Accused In Massacre

Credit High Desert Warrior

Attorneys for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales say they’re unsure if they’ll pursue a mental health defense in the case. 

But if they do, the judge has ordered that the soldier must undergo a so-called sanity board review.

Bales is accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians and wounding six others in an overnight rampage last March.

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Death Penalty
11:51 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Army Orders Sgt. Bales To Capital Court Martial

High Desert Warrior

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:56 pm

The U.S. Army announced Wednesday that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face a general court-martial on 16 counts of premeditated murder and other charges. If convicted, the maximum penalty is death. The decision follows a pretrial hearing last month.

An attorney for  Bales says she's "disappointed" by the Army's decision to seek the death penalty against the Washington-based soldier accused of massacring Afghan villagers in March.

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