Leaders visit Fort Hood | New
Members of the Central Texas community and senior Fort Hood leaders gathered on Tuesday to discuss the challenges facing the Fort Hood community and to celebrate the post’s contributions to the Central Texas community as a whole.
Lieutenant-General Pat White, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood, greeted visitors to the III Corps Headquarters building before beginning the orientation. Of those present, nearly a dozen had never been to the facility before.
“We have a great story here at Fort Hood,” White said. “I hope everyone will leave today with an appreciation for what makes this facility and organization so special.”
White then introduced the body’s mascot, the Phantom Warrior. He discussed its importance to the history of the body, which dates back to WWI. White placed particular emphasis on the nature of the Armored Corps’ unique mission in the modern battlespace.
Visiting community members were then invited to have a chat with corps personnel inside Fort Hood and III Corps headquarters.
“All the commanders in the Killeen-Fort Hood area are going to have this attitude first and foremost. I can’t wait until we can really strengthen our communities between Fort Hood and Killeen, ”said Charles Kimble, Killeen Police Chief.
After attending a briefing that highlighted major developments on Fort Hood, including its massive impact on the local economy, visitors were treated to a static display of the many unique military vehicles in the Fort Hood arsenal . The 1st Cavalry Division, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and the 36th Engineer Brigade worked together to make the exhibition possible.
Among the vehicles on display were two M1 Abrams main battle tanks with weapon systems mounted, two Strykers infantry transport vehicles, a Bradley fighting vehicle and a light tactical ambush protected and mine resistant vehicle. . The 11th Theater Tactical Signals Brigade also did a screening with a large assembly of communications pieces.
Lunch followed and took place at Theodore Roosevelt Warrior Restaurant, where community members were able to eat side-by-side with the soldiers from Fort Hood. The establishment is one of more than a half-dozen Warrior Restaurants that work around the clock to feed the approximately 36,000 soldiers who call Fort Hood home.
After lunch, visitors were treated to a tour of some of the facility’s most dynamic and immersive training sites.
First, community members saw the Fort Hood Medical Simulation Training Center, where they were introduced to an upgraded first aid kit to Army standards, and then were briefed on the Army training methods for first responders.
After their orientation to the MSTC, visitors then saw the intimidating obstacle course and simulation village which is used for hands-on training. The course is designed to test physicians in a variety of unique situations, up to and including the complete loss of all reliable sensory input.
After getting a glimpse of the harsh environment in which Army medics train, visitors were invited to see how Soldiers train for combat at the Fort Hood Training Support Center. Following a demonstration, visitors were invited to participate in Battle Drill 6, enter, and clear a room.
“I pass once more!” Dianne Campbell, a counselor currently based at Copperas Cove, said after completing the course.
Visitors to the TSC were also invited to simulate a mounted patrol, including a simulated demonstration of the operation of a .50 caliber M2A1 mounted machine gun.
“This is all really impressive. I’m so glad soldiers have tools like this to train, ”said Campbell.
The tour ended with a visit to the new National Museum of Horse Warfare, currently under construction. The huge project will cover almost seventeen acres near the main entrance to Fort Hood. It will present the artifacts currently held in the 1st Cav. Div. and 3rd Cav. Regt. museums, as well as those owned by other units affiliated with Fort Hood. The project is expected to be completed in early 2022.
The event was intended to foster a positive relationship with the surrounding community and to help clarify the nature of the III Corps mission at Fort Hood, said Col. Myles Caggins III, director of public affairs for III Corps.
“When we launched our People First initiative, part of that is building trust,” Caggins said. “Build trust within our training, but also build trust with surrounding communities.”