Fort Campbell soldiers assigned to the 1-32nd Cavalry Regiment have safely returned from their deployment in Afghanistan and enjoyed a day of fun today with fellow comrades.
1-32nd Cavalry Regiment Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Taylor says now that all of his soldiers are back from deployment, he wanted to host an event that brought soldiers and their families together for a day of fun.
Flags will be lowered to half staff at state office buildings in Kentucky Friday in honor of three fallen Fort Campbell soldiers.
Twenty-six year old Specialist Keith Grace of Texas, Sgt. Jamar Hicks of Arkansas and 26-year old Staff Sgt. Octavio Herrera of Idaho were killed August 11 when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire in Afghanistan.
All three men were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. Funeral services are set for Friday in the soldiers' respective home states and Governor Steve Beshear is encouraging Kentucky residents to lower their own flags at their homes and businesses.
A Fort Campbell soldier is accused of masterminding a scheme to divert fuel trucks from a military forward operating base while he was deployed in Afghanistan in exchange for money.
According to court officials in Paducah, Staff Sergeant Bilal Kevin Abdullah is charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Bribbery of a Public Official and Witnesses.
Abdullah allegedly committed the crime while stationed at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan from May 2010 through June 2011.
Abdullah is scheduled to appear in Federal Court in Paducah on August 26th at 10:15 a.m.
The Department of Defense recently announced the reduction of TRICARE Prime service areas in the U.S. beginning October 1st, which will affect about 171,000 retirees and their family members.
Officials say retirees and their family members living in affected areas will be disenrolled September 30th from TRICARE Prime, but will continue to be covered by TRICARE Standard and many will have the option to choose other coverage plans.
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson says the reduction in the number of Prime service areas does not mean beneficiaries will be losing their TRICARE benefit.
Woodson adds that all beneficiaries will remain eligible for TRICARE Standard and many will have additional coverage options available to them and active duty family members who live in an affected area will also be able to continue receiving TRICARE Prime benefits as long as they remain in their current Prime service areas.
Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Commander Colonel, George Appenzeller also says if a family member of an active duty service member transfers their benefits out of an affected area, they will not be able to switch back to that area again under TRICARE Prime and will have to look at other coverage options instead.
Officials say for beneficiaries who live within 100 miles of a remaining Prime service area, re-enrolling in Prime may be an option, depending on availability.
Officials say the Prime service areas that are being eliminated are not close to existing military treatment facilities.
Three Fort Campbell soldiers were killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.
The Department of Defense says 26-year old Staff Sgt. Octavio Herrera of Caldwell, Idaho, 22-year old Sgt. Jamar Hicks of Little Rock, Arkansas and 26-year old Specialist Keith Grace of Baytown, Texas died Sunday when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire.
The soldiers were assigned to the 4th Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.