By Samantha Harms, Fort Hood Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas — Representative August Pfluger, TX-11, made a tour of the installation here, Dec. 9, spending the day speaking with Soldiers on where they work, where they live and the connections that they share amongst each other, and with the Central Texas community.
The visit, Pfluger’s first to the installation, featured a tour of Fort Hood’s fire station, barracks, motor pools and the military working dog kennel attached to the 226th Military Working Dog Detachment, 89th Military Police Brigade, as well as seeing the construction progress for Chaffee Village homes.
“I have to say what I saw today, in talking about almost 40,000 Soldiers who live and work and are prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice from Fort Hood is, first off, a dedication to excellence that is unmatched. It’s a dedication to serving this country, a selflessness not just from the Soldiers themselves, but also their families and from the civilian workforce that we have right here,” Pfluger shared. “I also saw areas of need. There’s a lot of areas of need right here on this fort. If we’re going to continue to have the best military that the world knows, that takes an investment.”
This visit happened on the heels of the Congressional House passing the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 8, which included a 4.6% pay raise for service members and more than $19 million in military construction funding for Fort Hood.
“We passed in Congress the National Defense Authorization Act. This is a $858 billion bipartisan bill that focuses on readiness. It focuses on families. It focuses on Soldiers’ needs,” Pfluger said. “Included in that bill are millions of dollars that will come directly to Fort Hood, dollars that will go to enhancing the readiness, whether it’s building a new firing range, in upgrading and building training facilities, so that the readiness can remain high. Or in the case of a new barracks that are greatly needed, almost $20 million (goes) directly to the housing needs of Fort Hood.”
Fort Hood is currently constructing Barrack 100, which will be home to 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Soldiers. This is the first to be built from the ground up in more than two decades and is projected to be completed in August of 2023.
Additionally, Lendlease Inc., the parent company of Fort Hood Family Housing, is currently in the process of replacing nearly 600 homes in Chaffee and McNair Villages.
A large focus for the tour was orientating Pfluger to Fort Hood and Central Texas, as he will now represent part of the installation in Congress.
Fort Hood currently is part of Texas’ 25th Congressional District and 31st Congressional District. Congressional districts are re-drawn every 10 years in conjunction with the United State census.
Texas has 36 congressional districts, as determined by apportionment following the 2010 census, according to the Texas Legislative Council. As per the results of 2020 census congressional reapportionment, Texas will have 38 districts, and each district will have an ideal 2020 census population of 766,987.
Effective Jan. 3, 2023, Fort Hood will become part of Texas’ 11th Congressional District and will remain part of the 31st Congressional District. Part of Pfluger’s plans include opening a congressional office in the city of Killeen.
“The new district that Texas 11 comprises goes all the way from Bell County to Ector County. That’s Odessa, Texas. That’s almost five hours driving west … I’m proud that, starting in January, I can partner with Congressman (John) Carter to represent the needs of Fort Hood, the needs of Bell County,” he expressed, “and to truly advocate for national security issues that the men and women and the families right here in this area have been a part of for so many years.”
One of the themes throughout the visit was the Central Texas community and the value that it provides to Fort Hood.
“So many people in the community have a personal or family tie to service here,” expressed Col. Chad R. Foster, commander, U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood. “And that’s what makes this community truly second to none when it comes to partnership.”
This partnership could be felt in the discussions surrounding the March wildfires and the housing shortage in the area. Pfluger, a colonel with the Air Force Reserves, spent most of the visit connecting with Soldiers, which he said was the highlight of the day.
“You can really see the dedication and the passion that they bring to serving this country,” Pfluger shared. “They’re not doing it for money, they’re not doing it for glory or fame, they’re doing it because they have a selfless dedication for this country, for the flag.”