You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
November 15, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, who is charged with two counts of premeditated murder stemming from an incident in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, is being transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to face military justice, according to an I CORPS news release.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord issued a news statement Friday saying that Barbera, 31, had been charged with two counts of murder in connection with the shootings of two civilians near the village of As Sadah in the Diyala province on March 6, 2007. Barbera was assigned to 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at the time of the shootings, according to the Lewis-McChord statement.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Barbera is accused of killing two deaf, unarmed Iraqi youths, then lying to his commanders about what happened.
He is currently assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
Barbera is not in pre-trial confinement and is pending transfer to the Tacoma-area base, the news release said.
A date has not been set for Barbera’s Article 23 investigation, which is to determine if he will be court-martialed.
October 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM
A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was stabbed to death in Lakewood, Pierce County, early this morning in what police described as a racially tinged confrontation.
The Lakewood Police Department reported that the man, 20, and two other active-duty soldiers were walking at 2:38 a.m. in the 12500 block of Pacific Highway Southwest when someone in a vehicle reportedly yelled something about the soldiers being white.
When one of the soldiers yelled back a comment about treating combat soldiers with disrespect, the car turned around and stopped next to them in a parking lot in the largely industrial area. Five men climbed out of the car and surrounded the soldiers as the verbal confrontation continued, according to the account provided to police by the victim’s friends.
When the driver determined the men were actually soldiers, he summoned his passengers back to the car. As they left, one appeared to bump a soldier, who fell to the ground as the car sped away.
“It was then that they discovered the victim had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely. The victim died at the scene,” according to a statement issued by police Lt. Chris Lawler.
Police and an emergency medical crew were called to the parking lot along Pacific Highway where the victim fell.
The suspects’ vehicle was described as a midnight-blue sedan similar to a BMW or Volkswagen Jetta, with tinted windows, stock rims and low-profile tires.
Descriptions were provided of four of the suspects, all reportedly black men believed to be in their early- to mid-20s.
The primary suspect was described as 6 foot 1, of medium build, wearing a blue zip-up hoodie. The driver was described as 5 foot 7, with short-cropped hair and wearing a shirt with horizontal blue and white stripes.
Two others were about 5 foot 7, one with short hair and a gray tank top, the other with camouflage pants possibly designed for paintball. There was no description of the fifth suspect.
The Police Department has asked that anyone with information about the incident, the suspects or the vehicle to call 253-798-4721.
September 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD — The Department of Defense says a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was one of the three American soldiers killed Saturday in Afghanistan.
They were shot by an Afghan wearing a security forces uniform.
The three soldiers were identified Tuesday as:
- Spc. Joshua J. Strickland, 23, of Woodstock, Ga., assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord
- Staff Sgt. Liam J. Nevins, 32, of Denver, Colo., assigned to 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Watkins, Colo.
- Sgt. Timothy R. McGill, 30, of Ramsey, N.J., assigned to 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Middletown, R.I.
June 25, 2013 at 8:21 AM
The Army will cut one of the three Stryker combat brigades at Joint Base Lewis-McChord as part of an upcoming change in its force structure Army-wide, according to Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, who was informed of the action on Tuesday
The loss of the brigade will be accompanied by other cuts that would reduce the Army troop levels at JBLM from the current 31,000 to about 26,500 active-duty soldiers, Army officials told Heck.
“With the Iraq war over and the war in Afghanistan coming to a close next year, the U.S. Army will begin the process of returning to reduced troop levels. This is a necessary, natural and appropriation action,” Heck said in a statement today.
Prior to the start of these wars, what was then Fort Lewis served as the major testing ground for the eight-wheeled Strykers, which were fielded as a new generation of Army vehicles with multiple variants. The brigades, which were built around these vehicles, were repeatedly deployed to Iraq and then Afghanistan. The 4th Brigade 2nd Infantry Division, which deployed to Iraq and now has some soldiers serving in Afghanistan, is the Stryker brigade slated for the cut, according to Heck . That brigade has about 4,000 soldiers.
Heck said the loss of the brigade is unrelated to this year’s sequestration, which has resulted in cutbacks including furloughs for many civilian Defense Department workers.
The reductions come after a period of major expansion at JBLM, which is a joint Air Force and Army installation. During the post-9/11 period, the base added 19, 528 Army soldiers to reach this year’s total of more than 47,000 Air Force and Army active-duty personnel, according to statistics released in April.
The cutbacks are part of a broader downsizing of the Army that will reduce active-duty personnel from the current strength of about 540,000 soldiers to 490,000 by 2017.
In a meeting with community leaders in April, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, commander of the Army’s I Corps at JBLM, said the base could be spared any cuts — or could lose up to 8,000 soldiers as well as civilians who support these troops.
Responding to the news Tuesday, Sen Patty Murray, D-Wash., said JBLM will remain one of the premier military installations in America, and she was encouraged that the Army will add battalions to other brigade combat teams on the base.
March 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM
A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier died Thursday of wounds sustained during an attack in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense.
Small arms fire in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan injured Sgt. 1st Class James Grissom, 31, earlier this month. He later died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Grissom, originally from Hayward, Calif., was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group.
This was his first deployment to Afghanistan. He’d previously deployed to Iraq in 2009.
Grissom is survived by his wife, parents and sister.
February 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM
A soldier has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to stabbing his wife to death and raping her teenage daughter.
A military judge at Joint Base Lewis-McChord also ordered Staff Sgt. Robert S. Chiaravallotti to forfeit all pay and reduced his rank to private, according to a statement released Saturday by an Army spokesman. Chiaravallotti, 41, was charged with murder, rape of a child and assault of a child stemming from the attack on base last Aug. 25.
On Thursday, he told the judge he had intended to kill his wife, Dionne Chiaravallotti, and his 14-year-old stepdaughter, but instead raped the girl after she saw him kill her mother.
February 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM
The Army says some of its paratroopers got stuck in trees while jumping from a plane on a windy day near the town of Rainier in Thurston County.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord spokesman Joe Piek said he didn’t have many details about what happened Thursday afternoon, but firefighters were helping to rescue two or three paratroopers stuck in trees near one of the base’s drop zones.
The nearby Yelm Fire District said three people were stuck in a thickly wooded area near the town of Rainier, and separate rescues were under way for each.
No injuries have been reported.
January 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM
A 25-year-old Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier died Wednesday of wounds he sustained from a improvised explosive device in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, according to the Department of Defense.
Sgt. David Chambers of Hampton, Va. was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. That unit is assigned to Headquarters, 7th Infantry Division when at JBLM.
Chambers entered the Army in May 2009 and was first deployed to Afghanistan in June 2010. After returning in May 2011, he deployed again to Afghanistan in November 2012.
His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Achievement Medal with 3rd oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Driver’s Badge.
The Panjwai district is one of the most volatile parts of the war in Afghanistan, as our military reporter Hal Bernton wrote about in a story last year about how soldiers try to detect IEDs before being hit by them.
“It’s a very small piece of Afghanistan,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Volk of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the story. “But it’s a very large part of the fight.”
December 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM
A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, Staff Sgt. Wesley R. Williams, died in Afghanistan Monday when his unit was attacked with a roadside bomb.
Williams, 25, of New Carlisle, Ohio, was serving in Kandahar province with JBLM’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He’d served in the Army since 2005.
Williams deployed to Iraq as a rifleman from September 2009 to August 2010 and was sent to Afghanistan as a squad leader in November.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd award), National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (Numeral “3”), NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Parachutist Badge.
November 12, 2012 at 7:04 AM
The Associated Press
The Department of Defense says a 26-year-old soldier on his third deployment to Afghanistan has been killed by an explosive.
The News Tribune says Kenneth Wade Bennett, of Glendora, Calif., was killed Saturday in the Sperwan Gar area of Kandahar province. The military announced his death Sunday night.
Bennett was assigned to the 53rd Ordnance Company of the 3rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
He joined the Army in 2004 and trained to become an explosive ordnance technician in 2006. He has been assigned to Lewis-McChord since 2009.
He is the 32nd Lewis-McChord soldier to die in Afghanistan this year.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
Trending with readers