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News stories tagged with "military"

Grant to Fuel Drum Housing Boom

A $734,000 federal grant is supposed to provide another boost to Watertown's tight housing market. Congressman John McHugh and Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton secured the funds. As David Sommerstein reports, progress is slow but steady on building enough homes to absorb Fort Drum's exploding population.  Go to full article

Pentagon Releases Drum Casualty Names

Yesterday the Army released the names of the 10 soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week. Two were native New Yorkers. All were members of the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Fort Drum near Watertown. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Drum Families Cope With High-Profile Loss

Last Friday night, 10 soldiers from Fort Drum were killed when the Chinook helicopter transporting them rolled down a mountainside in Afghanistan. The families, friends, and colleagues of these soldiers face very trying times in a very high-profile position. Debra Stellfox is Fort Drum's Family Readiness Coordinator. She told David Sommerstein the military provides each family a "care team".  Go to full article
The Schuckman and Esplin families Sunday outside Ft. Drum.
The Schuckman and Esplin families Sunday outside Ft. Drum.

Copter Crash Stirs Drum Families

10 Fort Drum soldiers died in a helicopter crash Friday night in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. The military says the chopper was not downed by enemy fire. The Pentagon says it may be several days before the soldiers' names are released. It's the deadliest incident for Fort Drum since a Blackhawk helicopter crashed on a training mission on base, killing 11 soldiers. This latest news is sobering for a community weathering near-constant deployments, but it's not out of the ordinary. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Drum Troops Reinforce Baghdad

Since the bombing of a famous shrine in Samarra, Iraq, in Februrary, sectarian violence in the country has skyrocketed. As a response, the US military dispatched several thousand Iraqi and American soldiers into Baghdad as reinforcements. One of the units pulled into the capital was the 1st Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division. The brigade is based at Fort Drum near Watertown and has been in Iraq since last August. Its 3500 soldiers are expected to return later this summer. Before the shrine bombing, many of the brigade's units had been stationed in rural areas outside the city. Freelance reporter Ben Gilbert was embedded with some of them, and has this report on the transition to Baghdad.  Go to full article
Canadian War Museum (CWM)
Canadian War Museum (CWM)

War Museum Asks Painful Questions

Earlier in this hour, we heard a discussion of Canada's increasingly risky military role in Afghanistan. Last spring, Canada unveiled a new national war museum in Ottawa. The massive structure has a bunker-like faade that stands out in a city famous for its graceful architecture. Inside, exhibitions offer a stark and sometimes painful look at Canada's military history, from the bloody campaigns of the French and Indian Wars, to the military operations now underway in Afghanistan. As Brian Mann reports, the museum was unveiled at a time when many Canadians were already ambivalent about war -- and skeptical of America's war on terror. Brian's story first aired last May.  Go to full article

Drum Housing Results Slow in Coming

The Fort Drum population explosion, and the resulting housing crunch in Jefferson County, has been a top issue in the region for more than a year. Governor Pataki visited Watertown twice last summer with millions of dollars in grant money. Last week, a housing forum attracted both New York Senators, Congressman John McHugh, military leaders, and a host of state and local representatives. Still, the region has struggled to build new homes, as it faces an expected shortfall of 2000 units. 245 new single homes were built last year. But out of several proposed large-scale subdivisions, only one has broken ground. David Sommerstein spoke with Scott Gray, a Jefferson County legislator serving Watertown. He says obstacles like infrastructure and high construction costs have slowed plans. But he says last week's forum tackled the biggest problem - convincing investors that Fort Drum is actually here to stay.  Go to full article

Developers, Investors meet in Fort Drum Housing Forum

More than 300 developers, investors and elected officials met in Watertown on Thursday for a daylong summit aimed at solving Fort Drum's housing crunch. Both Senator Clinton and Senator Shumer spoke at the event.

An influx of nearly 6-thousand soldiers at Fort Drum has led to a severe housing shortage. Most have already arrived, but the Army estimates it still needs 2-thousand-60 single-family homes and approximately 225 two-person apartments in the Watertown area to provide housing. Then there's the problem of providing housing for low-income families displaced by the arriving soldiers.

John Deans is chair of the Fort Drum regional liaison organization. He told Gregory Warner that yesterday's forum was a good networking opportunity.  Go to full article
Freed hostage Bernard Planche
Freed hostage Bernard Planche

Drum Soldiers Find Escaped French Hostage

Soldiers from Fort Drum near Watertown were involved in the escape of a French engineer held captive in Iraq. Bernard Planche was kidnapped in Baghdad on December 5th. Planche fled from his captors Saturday. He approached members of the 10th Mountain Division who were conducting a checkpoint. Freelance journalist Bill Putnam is embedded with the 10th Mountain's 1st Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and sent us this story.  Go to full article

Troop Reduction Won't Affect Drum

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it will drop troop levels in Afghanistan in the spring. The decision affects the 10th Mountain Division, but not soldiers based at Fort Drum. David Sommerstein explains.  Go to full article

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