joint base lewis-mcchord

Courtesy of Grays Harbor County Sheriff

Beachcombing was a blast for soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord earlier this week. An ordnance disposal unit was called out after unexploded military munitions washed up on the beach north of Ocean Shores, Washington.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Amidst further downsizing confirmed by the U.S. Army Thursday, the Washington National Guard got good news. The Guard’s 81st Armored Brigade announced it will shed its heavy tanks and armor to convert into a more nimble Stryker configuration.

John Brooks / U.S. Army

The Army Surgeon General Thursday suspended the commander in charge of Army hospitals in 20 western states.

U.S. Army

The death of a soldier based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord over the weekend highlights the danger of training for war. Private First Class Andrew Sass was killed Saturday in an incident at the National Training Center in California.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

As a decade of war winds down, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is adding to a memorial park for the fallen.

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.

High Desert Warrior. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales

A jury of six soldiers is hearing graphic testimony Tuesday afternoon at the start of the sentencing phase of the trial of a U.S. soldier who massacred Afghan villagers. The jury will decide whether Staff Sgt. Robert Bales deserves life in prison with or without the chance of parole.

Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz / US Army

Urban development around military bases in the Northwest and across the nation is creating a headache for the U.S. Defense Department. So Wednesday, several federal agencies announced they will pool money to preserve buffer lands, starting with Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Federal and state money will be used to buy conservation easements or buy property outright to prevent development on more than 2,600 acres of farmland and prairie. The land is in Thurston County, Washington near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The Pentagon's decision to allow women in combat roles has some female soldiers rethinking their career trajectories.

Army Spc. Heidi Olson received a Purple Heart last year for shrapnel injuries she got during a foot patrol in Afghanistan. She feels she's earned the right to call herself a combat medic.

"Originally as a female, I wasn't allowed to be titled as a combat medic," Olson says. "It was a 'health care specialist.'"

Tom Banse. File photo of a Mazama pocket gopher

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Northwest may have another species listed as endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Monday proposed listing the Mazama pocket gopher as threatened in the South Puget Sound region of western Washington. This is the third time this fall the government has moved to protect a critter that depends on dwindling Northwest prairies or coastal grasslands.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Army prosecutors say Staff Sgt. Robert Bales murdered 16 Afghan civilians in two villages this past March in an act of “sheer brutality.” That was the opening argument at a pretrial hearing Monday to determine if Bales will face a full court martial and possibly the death penalty.