Combat brigades at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord will soon get a new layer of supervision. That announcement from the Secretary of the Army comes nearly two months after a Washington-based soldier allegedly killed 17 Afghan civilians.
Army Secretary John McHugh paid a visit to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to announce the creation of a new division headquarters complete with a two-star general. McHugh says the move is not a direct response to the Staff Sgt. Robert Bales case. Or, he says, to the 2010 murders of three Afghan civilians by soldiers from Lewis-McChord. But McHugh does admit soldiers here could have benefitted from this extra layer of management and oversight.
“Would it have helped? I suspect it would because you’d have better control of good order and discipline as I mentioned," McHugh says. "But it was not an initiative that began because of any one or any combination of those events.”
McHugh says rapid growth at Joint Base Lewis-McChord justifies the new division headquarters. Over the past nine years, the number of soldiers stationed at the Army post has nearly doubled.
Bases like Fort Bragg and Fort Hood already have these additional eyes on combat-ready troops.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network