Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'National Guard' (43) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 43

April 16, 2014 at 7:33am

Wednesday Morning Joe: McChord airman wins, defense cuts freakout, Game of Drones, stealth dirt bike, 10 scientific mysteries ...

Cafe Elite across from Tacoma Community College is a drive-thru only joint.


JBLM soldier found dead in the woods near Olympia Tuesday was the nephew of two presumed victims of last month's devastating landslide in Washington state.

446th Airlift Wing reservist named Howard O. Scott Citizen-Airman of the Year.

Former Sgt. Kyle White will receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in 2007 while serving as a specialist in Afghanistan.

Defense Department officials released a report that documents the cuts to military forces, modernization and readiness that will be required if defense budgets are held at sequester-levels in the years beyond fiscal year 2015.

The Pentagon's planned five-year spending plan for procurement and research-and-development projects, set forth in its 2015 budget proposal, would be cut by $66 billion if US federal spending caps remain in place.

More than $1 trillion in sequestration-related defense cuts, slated for now through 2021, "would significantly increase risks both in the short- and long-term," according to a report released Monday by the Pentagon.

Confidential U.S. assessments, which the State Department tried to hide from the public, show nearly all Afghan Cabinet ministries are woefully ill-prepared to govern after the U.S. withdraws its troops.

Is North Korea about to collapse?

A group of 11 lawmakers on Tuesday called for members of NATO to end all defense contracts with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.

Planning for withdrawal in Afghanistan may be smart, but it's not wise.

China has good reasons to remain secretive about its military.

The National Guard Association of the United States accused Army leaders of refusing to create a commission that could show reserve force are cheaper to maintain than the active duty.

Game of Drones: It will be tough to go into the big battle against drones without the irrepressible Goose.

U.S. military leaders have approved funding to develop a hybrid, stealth motorcycle to be driven by special operations teams in the not too distant future.

Russian missile system masquerading as innocent cargo container.

Patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers remain satisfied with the care they receive and complaints are down, a new survey released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index found.

Tricare announced its plans for reinstating thousands of beneficiaries who lost eligibility for Tricare Prime last October, but by law, not all who were booted off Prime will be able to re-enroll.

General Dynamics says the Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle competition is stacked against its 8×8 Stryker.

Hollywood is going to war again, and this time, Brad Pitt is in charge.

The soldiers of the 1st Battalion 69th Infantry aren't Navy SEALs, but now they've played them on TV.

The high-tech soldiers of the future are here.

List: 10 amazing discoveries that remain unexplained by science.

The Legacy of The Colbert Report: the joke's on you!

The X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer debuted on Conan last night.

Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss continue to morph into exact replicas of each other.

Yep, Nicolas Cage makes a good movie every five years. There's even a chart to prove it.

What beer are people really drinking?

Nice: Check out one dad's pop-culture lunches.

Kicked in the head by a train ...

April 15, 2014 at 9:24am

Washington Guard asks you to Purple Up today for the Month of the Military Child

Members of the Washington National Guard's Joint Services Support Directorate proudly sport their purple in front of the Minuteman statue on Camp Murray to build awareness for Purple Up Day.

Showing your support for the dedication and sacrifices of our military children is all too easy with a little touch of color. Making a fashion statement to build awareness is nothing new for this generation, but part of that statement is being able to positively build awareness and inform others about the importance of a specific issue.

April marks the Month of the Military Child, and the Joint Services Support Directorate of the Washington National Guard is encouraging everyone to wear purple Tuesday, April 15 to recognize and acknowledge the sacrifices and dedications that military youth provide for this nation.

"Military children make daily contributions of strength and courage and should be commended," said Washington Air & Army National Guard Youth Lead Program Coordinator Robbin Seeberger. "The Washington National Guard Child & Youth Program works diligently to provide programs and seek out local opportunities of support for the youth across our state."

For the second year in a row, Governor Jay Inslee made sure that all of Washington state knew the importance of this very special day.


April 10, 2014 at 11:11am

JBLM ACAP and Wash. National Guard Career Day and prep workshops

Looking for a new career path? Want to know who is hiring? Interested in getting some helpful tips, tools and resources to find a job?

Find out the answers to all of these questions and more at the upcoming Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) and Washington National Guard Career Day April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Lake Conference Center, located at 8085 NCO Beach Road on JBLM. This event is open to service members, veterans, and the National Guard and Reserves, along with their spouses and families. Participants will have access to a number of local and national businesses at the event.

Event organizers have also planned a robust series of Career Day preparation workshops April 29, the day before the event. These workshops are designed to provide participants with tools, resources and feedback to help get them prepared for the main event. Some of the featured workshops include courses on résumé and interviewing tips; maximizing LinkedIn accounts and other social media; how to optimize career searches; and how to work a career fair. The Career Day preparation workshops will also be held at the American Lake Conference Center.

Registration is required for both days of this two-day event. There is no cost to attend the workshops or the events.


April 10, 2014 at 7:33am

Thursday Morning Joe: I Corps Medal of Honor, Army vs. Guard, soldiers' 5 concerns, beautiful gifs ...

Tully's Coffee in downtown Tacoma is a lovely place to chill.


Medal of Honor recipient Capt. William Swenson is back on active duty at I Corps on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The tensions are high in eastern Ukraine. About 40,000 Russian troops are massed on the border.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's top military commander in Europe, opened the door to deploying U.S. troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russian moves.

The destroyer Donald Cook is set to enter the Black Sea today amid tensions over eastern Ukraine.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., warned that supplemental wartime funding, which the Army has said it needs well after the war in Afghanistan ends, may not be forthcoming.

Afghan probe begins in attack on AP journalists.

The vice chief of staff of the Army told senators "greater risk" must be accepted in the Army's modernization programs in the near term due to financial constraints.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler lists soldiers' "top five" concerns.

The Army and the National Guard are at war over the Guard's Apache helicopters, and both sides are turning to Congress for backup.

General Dynamics begins work on special ops vehicle.

U.S. Navy officers in the Pacific fleet say the service's Littoral Combat Ship may lack the speed, range and electronic warfare capabilities needed to operate in Asian waters.

The U.S. Navy is integrating a Hellfire missile onto the Littoral Combat Ship as a way to give the platform more fire-power.

The U.S. Navy has begun testing "smart" rocket launchers aboard MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.

The U.S. Navy is in the very early stages of developing a new destroyer -- called the Future Surface Combatant.

The Army & Exchange Service is warning military shoppers about scammers posing as service members offering to broker the sale of used boats, cars and motorcycles through the Exchange.

Watch eight BASE jumps from eight famous buildings.

Future Teasing: Peaople are naming their kids after Game of Thrones characters.

The Game of Thrones theme song sung by goats.

Beautiful animated gifs

Jack White's new music video is all about science.

Test: Which music era do you belong in?

Movie action kid returns ...

April 9, 2014 at 7:48am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Marine shooting, invasion intel, Army's tough choices, A-10 battle, 10 best houses, texting rap ...

The Starbucks inside the Fred Meyer off Bridgeport in Tacoma is quiet in the morning.


A Marine at Camp Lejeune shot and killed another Marine at the facility's main gate Tuesday afternoon.

U.S. won't share invasion intel with Ukraine.

Navy and Marines still unclear how Army will fit into Pacific Pivot.

Odierno: Army faces "tough" choices in uncertain fiscal times.

In the wake of last week's shooting on Fort Hood many soldiers and some lawmakers are calling on the military to reconsider allowing troops to carry concealed weapons on post.

Airmen at odds with Air Force brass over future of beloved A-10 plane.

Two key senators say U.S. Air Force plans to stop A-10 flights and training in October are against the law.

Lt. Gen. David Halverson took command of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command from Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter.

Russia's takeover of Crimea could prompt a review the U.S. military presence in Europe, which has declined steadily since the end of the Cold War.

The Pentagon will shrink the number of its nuclear weapon-carrying bomber aircraft and reduce the number of submarine ballistic missile launch tubes as it modifies its force posture to meet the limits of the New START treaty with Russia.

The head of the U.S. National Guard Bureau has given his blessing to the U.S. Army's plan to move all of the Guard's Apache attack helicopters into the active force while receiving several hundred Black Hawk and Lakota multi-use helicopters in return.

Visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chinese military chiefs traded warnings and rebukes Tuesday as they clashed over Beijing's territorial disputes with its neighbors, North Korea's missile program and cyber espionage.

As F-35 program officials prepared to testify to the Senate Armed Services Committee, they announced they were keeping back some $25.7 million, or 5 percent, of payments for the F135 engine used in the Joint Strike Fighter.

Engineers with the U.S. Navy have finished drawing up blueprints for a future class of nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines.

Boeing built Marines an Osprey Jeep with NASCAR connection.

A limited number of Airmen who received notice that their previously approved applications for early retirement had been declined will be given the option to retire if they still desire to do so.

Heartbleed: Why the Internet's gaping security hole is so scary.

The 10 best houses of the year.

Archie Comics is killing off its main character.

HBO renewed Game of Thrones for two more seasons.

The New Yorker has a piece about the genius of Dave Letterman.

David Hasselhoff is selling his Knight Rider replica.

March 29, 2014 at 7:25am

Friday Morning Joe: Russia goes primal, CommiExchanges, Guard could lose Apaches, Pentagon digs drones, Patatap fun...

Sipping Out is the embedded espresso stand at Flipping Out Burger in Tacoma.


Obama asked the Russia leader to withdraw troops during a phone call initiated by Putin.

A primal instinct was behind Russia's annexation of Crimea, and its one shared by other powers.

Pentagon to adapt drones for tougher aerial battles.

The U.S. Army's top leaders defended their proposal to strip the Army National Guard of its AH-64 Apaches attack helicopters as part of a cost-saving move.

Jeremiah Denton Jr., who as an American prisoner of war in Vietnam made the world aware of the abuse POWs were suffering, died Friday at 89 in a Virginia Beach hospice.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has paid tribute to retiring Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who is stepping down as head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency.

Air Force looks to cost-effective technologies to sustain future operations.

Defense officials have ordered a review of options that include consolidating commissaries and exchanges, as well as having commissaries adopt an "Exchange-like business model."

A New York congressman is calling for a presidential review of the Medal of Honor cases of two Marines who in 2008 gave their lives to halt a suicide bomber with a truck full of explosives in Ramadi, Iraq.

A veteran of the war in Afghanistan died of a heroin and cocaine overdose last year while receiving treatment at a Miami Veterans Affairs residential treatment facility, according to a VA inspector general report released.

Government stalwart mobility provider BlackBerry got some additional leverage in the form of full operational capacity for its BlackBerry 10 to run on Defense Department networks.

Abby Martin's exclusive interview with former NASA Astronaut and ISS Commander, Leroy Chiao, about U.S.-Russian cooperation in space, life on other words and the reality of the film Gravity.

Watch a lost interview with philosopher Michel Foucault on madness and history.

Patatap lets you make tunes and pictures with your computer keyboard (instead of boring old words).

New York magazine's "100 Years of New York Music" issue celebrates everyone from Debbie Harry to Billie Holiday and includes a portfolio of new photos.

Chrissie Hynde's Dark Sunglasses, her new record, arrives June 10.

Silicon Valley, HBO's delightful new Mike Judge comedy, which stars T.J. MIller, Kumail Nanjiani and other funny dudes, premiere's April 6.

This may not make a lick of sense but it sure is pretty...

March 24, 2014 at 9:47am

Washington National Guard's test kitchen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Dukes Chowder House Executive Chef Bill Ranniger demonstrates how to prepares Pacific salmon in front of dozens of Washington National Guard and active-duty servicemembers at Joint Base Lewis McChord. Photo credit: Gary Lott

"This is a great event to introduce the culinary art schools, high schools and the individuals in the community to the Washington National Guard and what we do for our entity," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frank Gibson. "We are a small group of people that do a big job when it comes to feeding our soldiers."

The Washington Army National Guard's (WAARNG) Fiscal Year (FY) 14 Food Service Menu Board review and approval event was held in the 66th Aviation building at Joint Base Lewis-Mcchord this weekend. The purpose of the event was to select the FY14 menu option for the WAARNG throughout the year and specifically during drill weekends.

This event gave dozens of vendors the opportunity to showcase their food, as well as giving service members the opportunity to try the meals that they will be enjoying for the next year.

"This is a chance to see what's available in the marketplace, to get menu ideas and get to experience a lot of different flavors," said Dale Holland of Coastal Marketing Consultants, Inc. "Knowledge is powerful and if they don't know about it, how can they broaden their food knowledge."

>>> A food demonstration showed the proper way to prepare ahi as well as how to conduct large prep for large fish orders. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Along with a plethora of available food selection items such as bacon pancakes, fresh salads and freshly-sliced roast beef, food demonstrations were held, including deconstructing meat, bulk fish prepping, omelet cooking and dessert making.

>>> Culinary students from Heritage High School in Vancouver explain their craft before Washington National Guard judges. One school will be selected to provide menu options for drilling servicemembers in fiscal year 2014. Photo by Gary Lott

A WAARNG Culinary Competition also was held during the weekend. Students from the Northwest Culinary Institute, Steilacoom High School, Heritage High School, Bates Technical College's culinary arts program and the Art Institute of Seattle had two hours to prepare their competing dishes for judging command staff members, who score based on appearance, taste and enhancements.

>>> Students from Bates Technical College Culinary School cooked for the Washington Army National Guard over the weekend. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The food was the star of the show, but that didn't stop the WAARNG from still taking some time to connect with the youth. 1st Lt. Chris Herring (168th) took the high school students on a tour of the flight line on JBLM. 

"It's important to show the kids the many opportunities of the Guard," said Herring.  "They did a great job feeding us so we figured we'd show them a little of what we do."

>>> The Washington Army National Guard dissected many at JBLM over the weekend. Photo credit: Gary Lott

March 14, 2014 at 5:17pm

Words & Photos: Washington National Guard St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk at Camp Murray

The Camp Murray streets were full of wet and crazy Washington National Guard runners the morning of March 14. Photo credit; Gary Lott

It was a wet, green morning at Camp Murray.

And I'm not talking about Mother Nature ... unless she wore green and ran with the Washington National Guard during the second annual St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk.

Yes, it was wet this morning at 7:30 a.m., but spirits were high.

"In the Guard, we don't have as many opportunities to conduct physical training collectively, so it was important to us to facilitate an event that would impact the morale of our guardsmen in a positive way," said the G1's 1st Sgt. Michael Berndt.  "Additionally, every penny raised during the event is donated to the Minuteman Emergency Assistance Fund (MEAF), which directly helps our soldiers and airmen experiencing financial hardships," he added.

The event was once again held to "pay it forward" by the G1 Directorate, who is responsible for National Guard human resources information.

"Most of the G1 staff is involved, in one way or another, because they know the event will benefit Soldiers and Airmen for months to come," said Berndt. "Both the support staff and participants will play an active role in building our professional relationships and strengthening our community."

>>> 1st Sgt. Michael Berndt kept the Minutemen Emergency Assistance Fund silent auction running smooth. It raised $1,022. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Col. Jeffrey Sabatine thanks the National Guard Association of Washington in front of members of the Washington National Guard before the start of the Camp Murray St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, Washington National Guard adjutant general, lists the priorities of the Guard and thanks all of the attendees for supporting the Minutemen Emergency Assistance Fund. Photo credit: Gary Lott

These types of events are important because teamwork and soldier care are at the core of Guard's values. This event covers both.

"The 5K event promotes physical fitness and strengthens our team building skills," said Berndt. "By supporting the Minuteman Emergency Assistance Fund and supporting one another, collectively, we are building resilience in a number of different ways."

>>> The iconic "Fred" The Minuteman statue kept a close on on the craziness. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Joint Services Support Directorate (JSS) even had their Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness and Resiliency (CSF) class participate in the run.

"We are always glad to see our Fit and Resilient classes coincide with the many fun runs that take place on Camp Murray," said the CSF program manager, 1st Lt. Kyereme Blanding. "It's great to show our class participants the importance of team building, building morale and motivating one another to become more resilient, especially with the cold weather."

Several of the Washington National Guard's Major Subordinate Commands, to include the 81st Brigade Combat Team, 96th Troop Command, 66th Aviation, 205th Training Regiment, JSS and Joint Force Headquarters, spent their own money and donated a variety of themed baskets and other items to help raise money for the event. The National Guard Association of Washington donated all of the food.

"It was awesome to have more than 150 people show up and raise more than $1,000 ($1022 exactly) for the MEAF," said event POC Staff Sgt. Susie Lopez. "We were worried the rain would affect the amount of attendees, but obviously we still had lots of green on Camp Murray today."

>>> Washington National Guard G1 singed the St. Patrick's Day Fun Run banner. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Joint Services Support Directorate's Fit and Resilient class was in the house. Photo credit: Gary Lott

March 12, 2014 at 7:23am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Navy's new math, National Guard pissed, new Air Force leaders, Keith Richard's children's book...

The Starbucks inside the Tacoma Proctor District Safeway is always fast in the mornings.


Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top commander in Afghanistan, will testify on Capitol Hill today about the situation on the ground amid a continuing standoff with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., incoming chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the Pentagon's troubled F-35 program says there's one thing Congress can do to avoid more problems: fully fund it.

Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven't seen in 700 years

Elite special forces in danger of cracking as demand is outpacing capacity.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said today that if Sen. Dianne Feinstein's claim that the CIA spied on a Senate computer network is true, it would "destroy" Congress's relationship with the agency. 

The trial of an Army general accused of sexual assault moved into uncharted legal territory Tuesday when the judge dismissed the jury to allow the defense time to hammer out a new plea deal with the military.

Outrage on Capitol Hill as Navy changes ship-counting rules.

The U.S. Air Force nominated the next leaders of its Space and Mobility commands.

A top defense official said he thought it was time to reconsider the legal authority used by the military to target terrorists around the world

Why the Garrison State is here to stay.

National Guard commanders rise in revolt against active Army; Maj. Gen. Rossi questions Guard combat role.

The Air Force's decision to favor new designs over upgrades to legacy aircraft forced the cancellation of a program that could muddy an international market for radar and avionics upgrades.

President Barack Obama's nominee to be director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command said yesterday that legislation and transparency are critical to the nation's security in cyberspace.

Feedback on "Transition GPS," which prepares service members to enter the civilian workforce, indicates it improves on the program it replaced.

Please!: A '70s-set rock 'n' roll drama from Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.

Here's a cover story about how the Muppets "got their mojo back."

Here are 7 facts about your favorite superheroes - Spiderman, The Avengers, Superman, Wolverine, etc. - that you probably didn't know.

Psst: Here's what The Flash's suit looks like on the new CW series.

Wha-What!: Keith Richards has a children's book on the way.

Finally: A Star Wars-themed parody of Pharrell's Happy.

Put your face close to your screen and hit play...

February 18, 2014 at 11:50am

Military (and celebrity) money, money, money, money, MONEY!

Tracy Morgan, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Lady gaga and others pay Jimmy Fallon $100 after losing “Tonight Show” bet.


Contract awards coming from the Pentagon dropped to $8.44 billion in January, the lowest point in nearly two years.

Within the next six months, up to $8 billion of frozen Iranian assets will be released.

With defense spending capped for 2015, it is unclear how Congress would substantially inflate the Pentagon budget to include most or all of the reportedly $26 billion in items slated for the unfunded lists.

The Washington National Guard has identified approximately $800 million in identified cyber threat risk.

The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base 16.4 megawatt solar array is the largest of its kind on any U.S. Department of Defense installation. It will provide approximately 35 percent of the base's electricity requirements, at an economically beneficial rate for 25 years, reducing base utility costs by an average of $500,000 annually.

Switching from a retail pharmacy to Home Delivery can save TRICARE beneficiaries up to $152 every year for each prescription.

And then there's this exchange of money ...

About this blog

News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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