Ft. Campbell

Fort Campbell to Welcome Home 270 Soldiers Tuesday Night

May 14, 2013
Ft. Campbell

Almost 300 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell are due home from Afghanistan.

A welcome-home ceremony is scheduled for late Tuesday night at the Army installation on the Kentucky-Tennessee line.

The soldiers are members of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. They have been in Afghanistan for nine months.

Notifications of planned furloughs are expected to be sent out in the next couple of weeks to federal employees who work on Kentucky military installations as unions negotiate details of the  impact of automatic budget cuts.

Thousands of federal employees who work at Fort Knox in central Kentucky and Fort Campbell on the Tennessee state line could face up to 22 unpaid days off work between April and September as part of cuts triggered on March 1.  Union officials say they expect notifications to start being sent to employees in mid to late March.

Vicki Loyall is the president of local 2302 of the American Federation of Government Employees based at Fort Knox.  She said employees there worry about paying bills and are considering cancelling their health insurance.

On the eve of automatic military budget cuts, Fort Campbell's garrison commander said the installation's 8,000 civilian employees could face up to 22 unpaid days off this year.

Col. David L. "Buck" Dellinger told reporters Thursday that Fort Campbell's leaders are making budget decisions sometimes on an hourly basis to prepare for $55 million in budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday.

The installation in southern Kentucky is hosting town hall meetings in the coming days with staff and soldiers.

Dellinger said they have to balance providing training for thousands of soldiers who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan this year, while finding savings in areas like civilian employee salaries, maintenance and other operating costs.

With military budget cuts set to take effect Friday, Fort Campbell's leaders are preparing to give more details on furloughs facing thousands of civilian employees and local impact of those cuts on soldiers and their families.

Fort Campbell's commander Maj. Gen. James McConville has said more information will be provided in the coming days through town hall meetings. The installation's garrison commander, Col. David L. "Buck" Dellinger, is providing details on the local impact during a media briefing on Thursday.

The Pentagon faces a $46 billion budget reduction through the end of September and has warned that some 800,000 civilians stand to be furloughed without pay for up to 22 days.

More than 30,000 troops are based at Fort Campbell, and many are currently deployed to Afghanistan.

Ft. Campbell Soldiers Returning from Afghanistan Friday

Feb 15, 2013

Soldiers serving in a combat aviation brigade at Fort Campbell are scheduled to arrive at the post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line after completing a deployment to Afghanistan.

The soldiers arriving home on Friday are from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. The aviation brigade has been working in eastern Afghanistan since last year to assist U.S. and international troops.

Thousands of soldiers from Fort Campbell are deployed or are preparing to deploy this year to Afghanistan.

U.S. Army

The Army's most elite aviation unit is proposing to allow women to fly the special operations helicopters used in missions like the one that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, based at Fort Campbell, Ky., and known as the Night Stalkers, wants to give women a trial as pilots and crew chiefs, pending congressional approval. The aviation unit is the first among Army special operations units to move toward less restricted roles for women as a part of military-wide review of gender exclusions for many combat jobs.

Women have been able to fly attack helicopters since the 1990s, and many women serve in aviation brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. But previous policy barred them from special operations missions.

Ft. Campbell

Fort Campbell is resuming its monthly memorial ceremony for 101st Airborne Division soldiers who have died as thousands of troops from the post on the Tennessee-Kentucky are currently serving in Afghanistan.

This month's Eagle Remembrance Ceremony on Wednesday will honor Pfc. Shane G. Wilson of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team and Spc. Patricia Horne of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. Both died in 2012.

Wilson, a 20-year-old infantry rifleman from Kuna, Idaho, died Oct. 18 in Khost province, Afghanistan. Horne, a 20-year-old human resource specialist of Greenwood, Miss., died Aug. 24 in a non-combat-related incident in Bagram, Afghanistan.

The commander of an aviation brigade from Fort Campbell that is currently deployed said the Afghan security forces are becoming more capable both on the ground and in the air.

Col. Paul Bontrager, commander of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, briefed the media by teleconference on Monday on the brigade's first 100 days of its Afghanistan deployment.

Woman Sentenced for Setting Fatal Fire in Ft. Campbell

Dec 13, 2012

A woman accused of trying to collect on her Army husband’s life insurance policy has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for setting fire to her home and killing two of her children at Fort Campbell.

A sobbing Billi Jo Smallwood maintained her innocence at her sentencing Thursday in federal court in Louisville. Family, friends and jail guards portrayed her as caring and deeply religious.

The 39-year-old Smallwood could have been given life in prison.

The 101st Airborne Division and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team will hold a memorial on Wednesday, the anniversary of the crash of a flight carrying 248 soldiers from Fort Campbell in 1985.

The memorial will be held at the post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line on the 27th anniversary of the crash of Arrow Airlines Flight 1285 in Gander, Newfoundland, on Dec. 12, 1985.

In the middle of the Fort Campbell Army post, a simulated version of a military operations center in Afghanistan has sprung up under a maze of tents that is bustling with a mix of international and American military forces.

The 101st Airborne Division's headquarters is preparing to take over control of NATO troops in eastern Afghanistan this winter, but the division will face new and different challenges compared to its last deployment during the troop surge in 2010 and 2011.

If the Army’s 101st Airborne Division Commander knows what impact the upcoming “fiscal cliff” will have on the unit, he’s not saying. Major General James McConville leads the 24,000 soldiers in the 101st based at Fort Campbell. McConville says  he doesn’t want to find out what the automatic defense cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act will mean for his soldiers.

A set of pillow shams and copies of the military newspaper Stars and Stripes dating from World War I and World War II are now part of the collection at the Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell. The Kentucky New Era reports that Kathy Kozlinski of St. Clair Shores, Mich., donated pillow shams from Camp Claiborne, La., where the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) first activated during World War II.

A widow of a Ft. Campbell, Ky., soldier killed in a blast in Afghanistan has sued Fox Cable Networks and the National Geographic Society over a documentary that showed her husband and family.

Kentucky veterans suffering from substance abuse who are charged with crimes will soon be able to enter a treatment program through a new statewide partnership. The Veterans Treatment Court is starting in Louisville. It’s a partnership by the statewide drug courts, Morehead State University and the veterans’ administration.

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