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News in brief

Published: 02:15PM December 7th, 2012

Force protection exercise will impact JBLM facilities, services

Joint Base Lewis-McChord officials will conduct a Force Protection exercise Dec. 12 to evaluate the installation’s ability to respond to potential threats against personnel, resources and property.

During the exercise, military and civilian employees, guests and visitors should anticipate detours in normal vehicle traffic patterns, restricted access to buildings and possible disruption to customer service activities.

The exercise is part of an annual Installation Management Command requirement to ensure JBLM is capable of responding to a variety of security threats.

During the exercise, updates to the buildings, roadways, and services impacted by the exercise will be available at the JBLM Facebook page at

JBLM Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization Services

Spouses host annual holiday tour of decorated homes on JBLM

The Lewis Community Spouses’ Club is hosting its annual tour of holiday decorated homes. Join them today, 4 to 7 p.m., or Saturday, 3 to 7 p.m. to get a glimpse of Christmas past as you stroll through 16 homes in the Old Post area of Lewis Main.

The tour begins at the LCSC Cottage, 4201 West Way. Tickets are $15 and are good for both days. All of the proceeds from this event go directly into the LCSC welfare fund, benefiting our great community. For more information visit: or go to for tickets.

Lewis Community Spouses’ Club

Postal Service military mailing deadlines for holidays approach

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The U.S. Postal Service and Military Postal Service Agency have released deadlines to ensure packages arrive to Military and State Department post offices overseas by Dec. 25.

Deadlines to ensure arrival by Dec. 25 are Monday for priority mail and first-class mail, letters and cards and Dec. 17 for express mail military service.

The deadline for parcel airlift mail, priority and first class mail going to Afghanistan or Kuwait has passed.

The MPSA encourages customers to mail packages on or before the dates for the specific mail category. For information on mailing deadlines and restrictions, go to or contact the Military Postal Service at

Mark Edwards, Human Resources Command Public Affairs

Army expands prescription drug testing to include benzodiazepine

FORT SILL, Okla. — The Department of Defense has expanded military drug testing to include selected prescription drugs in the benzodiazepine class, which includes such familiar drugs as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Restoril and 31 others.

The Army drug testing laboratory has begun testing urine samples for the presence of these drugs, but all prescription drugs will eventually be tested.

The recent expansion of the drug testing panel to include selective benzodiazepines is an expansion of Army Operations Order 12-211 issued in May that included hydrocodone (Lortab or Vicodin) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). These have been added to the drug panel that is applied to every urine specimen collected.

The panel also includes marijuana (THC), cocaine, amphetamines (methamphetamines, MDMA (ecstasy), MDEA and MDA, heroin and other drugs from a group that includes opiates (morphine and codeine), PCP and oxycodone/oxymorphone (OxyContin).

Testing procedures are outlined in Army Regulation 600-85 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Refusal to comply with orders for mandatory drug testing will subject a Soldier to punitive or administrative actions under the UCMJ.

Soldiers who have been injured or suffered battle trauma and are taking prescription drugs under the care of military health care providers do not need to worry about a positive test as long as they have valid prescriptions for those medications.

Ben Sherman, Fort Sill Public Affairs

Salmon poisoning disease risk higher for Pacific Northwest dogs

Salmon poisoning disease is a potentially fatal bacterial infection and is a concern here in the Pacific Northwest because of the popularity of salmon fishing and the large number of salmon present in local waterways. The bacteria are only found in the geographical area between northern California and southern Alaska. SPD has been reported at the JBLM Veterinary Center this year, so it is important for dog owners to be aware of the risk of infection and how to prevent it.

Infection can occur when a dog ingests raw or undercooked fish that are infected with flukes (a flatworm parasite) that carry the Neorickettsia helminthoeca bacteria. The most commonly infected fish is the salmon. However, other kinds of fish, like trout and sturgeon that live in coastal streams and rivers can also carry the flukes and bacteria.

The bacteria is the culprit of SPD and can cause a variety of symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, ocular and nasal discharge, fever and possibly neurologic symptoms. If your dog displays these signs and has ingested raw or undercooked salmon, have it evaluated by a veterinarian. If the salmon is cooked, the fluke and bacteria will be killed and the fish is safe for consumption.

SPD can typically be diagnosed with a fecal evaluation under a microscope. Once diagnosed, dogs receive antibiotics to kill the bacteria and anti-parasitics to kill the fluke. Dogs may also receive supportive care depending on the severity of symptoms, which can include fluids and medications to control vomiting. Some dogs require hospitalization to treat the disease. If untreated, the disease is often fatal, claiming the lives of 90% of dogs who are infected. Thankfully, dogs that are diagnosed and treated quickly typically make a full recovery.

If you have further questions about SPD, feel free to contact a veterinarian at the JBLM Veterinary Center at 982-3951/3952. — Capt. Lauren Seal, JBLM Public Health Command