WASHINGTON (AFP) - The commander of a US Army base in Kentucky has ordered a three-day suspension of regular duties to focus on a spike in suicides among his troops amid concern over a wider trend across the armed services. The stand-down entered its third day Friday at Fort Campbell, which is home to the famed 101st Airborne Division and has recorded the highest rate of suicide in the Army, with at least 11 confirmed or suspected suicides. Brigadier General Stephen Townsend announced the stand-down to focus attention on the problem after two more soldiers took their lives last week. Its bad for soldiers, its bad for families, bad for your units, bad for this division and our army and our country and its got to stop now. Suicides on Fort Campbell have to stop now, he told troops. Suicide is a permanent solution to what is only a temporary problem, Townsend said. No matter how bad your problem seems today, trust me, its not the end of the world. It will be better tomorrow. Dont take away your tomorrow. The trauma of combat combined with the effect of repeated tours has led to a record rise in suicides across the armed services and particularly the US Army - which has carried the heaviest burden in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year 128 soldiers took their lives, up from 115 in 2007, as tours of duty since 2001 have come ever more frequently and last longer. With 64 confirmed or suspected suicides so far this year, the Army looks likely to surpass last years record numbers. The 20.2 per 100,000 suicide rate among US soldiers is above the national record of 19.5 per 100,000 in 2005 in the United States. Earlier this month a US soldier, Sergeant John Russell, allegedly sprayed his comrades with lethal gunfire at a mental health clinic at a US base in Baghdad, and he has been charged with five counts of murder.