Ft. Campbell

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.

Soldiers from Fort Campbell are returning home to the installation in southern Kentucky Friday after a nine-month long deployment to Afghanistan. The soldiers are from the 887th Engineer Support Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

Fort Campbell is holding suicide prevention training and other events this week as part of the Army's Suicide Prevention Month to educate soldiers, their families and civilians on how to spot the warning signs of suicide.

After years of taking the lead on the battlefield, Army leaders from Fort Campbell are learning how to take a backseat role when they return to Afghanistan this fall to serve as military advisers. About 1,900 troops from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, will serve as a Security Force Assistance Brigade with a mission to prepare the Afghan security forces for the coming withdrawal of NATO troops.

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