Fort Hood News Archive

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Fort Hood Senior Commander will host a virtual Facebook town hall at 11 a.m. March 31 here.

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, deputy commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, and Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, Task Force Phantom command sergeant major, will address the latest updates on COVID-19 risk mitigation measures, plus host an open forum question and answer period.

Participants are encouraged to submit questions on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/forthood.

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commanding general, discusses the importance of the installation tabletop exercise in the Garrison Emergency Operations Center, March 25. During the exercise, post leaders worked through its COVID-19 responses, testing plans, policies and procedures. (U.S. Army photo by Dave Larsen, Fort Hood Public Affairs)

FORT HOOD, Texas —Even as the installation and its surrounding communities continue to take measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus, Fort Hood officials conducted a tabletop exercise March 25 to further test the plans, policies and procedures in battling it.“Nobody wants to go to football practice during halftime,” Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commanding general, said to those assembled inside the Fort Hood Garrison Emergency Operation Center at the start of the exercise, “but in this case, there is no halftime. It’s game on.”

Post officials decided to conduct the exercise even as more measures are being taken to limit exposure of the installation’s populace.

Fort Hood announced today the closure of all of its on-post gymnasiums.

Physical training will continue to be conducted, however, but only at the squad level with ten or less Soldiers participating, and only outdoors.

Other changes announced today include:

— Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center has opened its drive-through clinic for respiratory patients, which its commander, Col. Richard Malish, announced during the March 19 virtual town hall event live-streamed via Facebook.

— Four access control points will operate for limited hours (5 a.m. – 6 p.m.). The gates affected are: State Highway 195 Gate (adjacent to the Frank Mayborn Gate) on Fort Hood Street; Warrior Way Gate; Old Copperas Cove Gate; and 79th Street Gate.

— The Phantom Warrior Lanes bowling alley has closed.

— Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area has closed, except for patrons currently utilizing the travel camp. The West Fort Hood Travel Camp is also closed except for current residents.

 

For a full listing of Fort Hood programs and services affected by the post’s ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19, go to the installation’s social media pages at http://www.facebook.com/forthood or http://www.twitter.com/forthood.

 

A link to the listing of services is also available here:

 

The 9th Hospital Center deployed the first wave of medical Soldiers Mar.25, 2020 from Fort Hood, Texas heading to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where they will begin augmenting the medical professionals in the New York City area in the fight against COVID-19. These units plan and train year-round and remain ready to provide defense support of civil authorities to help protect the American people during man-made and natural disasters. U.S. Army photos by Capt. Tyson Friar, 13th ESC Public Affairs. 

FORT HOOD, Texas – The 1st Medical Brigade has begun deploying personnel to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local officials with the augmented medical support needed to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

More than 25 medical personnel from the 9th Hospital Center deployed today to Fort Dix, near New York City, and will be followed by over 275 in the upcoming days.  Additionally the 627th HC, out of Fort Carson, Colo., deployed over 30 of the near 300 Soldiers they’ll be deploying to Joint Base Lewis- McChord near Seattle, Wash.

These units plan and train year-round and remain ready to provide defense support of civil authorities to help protect the American people during man-made and natural disasters.

“As the United States military’s oldest and largest medical brigade, we stand ready to support the people of the United States in their time of need,” explains Col. Robert Howe, the 1st MED Commander.  “Our Soldiers are eager to provide medical service and support to our fellow citizens and alleviate some of the burden on our tremendous civilian healthcare system.”

The Hospital Centers feature robust medical capabilities as a self-sustaining hospital that remains ready to deploy anywhere in the world.

“We stand ready to deploy wherever our country needs us,” Howe added.

The deploying Soldiers from both units will first supplement the current local medical facilities, and decide how much to grow the scalable Hospital Centers, which can provide medical services ranging from routine care to surgical capabilities with up to 240 hospital beds.

Additionally, the 1st MED Brigade headquarters has been assigned to support the Joint Task Force – Civil Support’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will be leading medical planning operations from Fort Hood.

This response is part of the whole-of-nation approach to fighting COVID-19. The Army is working with interagency partners – including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Military Health System and others – to support and protect our military force and the American people.

 

Fort Hood Friends, Family, and Phantom Warriors,

As you know, globally and at home the COVID-19 virus has created unprecedented challenges that leaders, both civilian and military, are addressing as they arise. To frame our way ahead I’ll echo Lieutenant General Pat White’s guidance, “We are well positioned to respond to an outbreak in our ranks, should one occur.” He went on to further state, “Despite the pandemic, our priorities and fundamental tasks stay consistent.” Lethality remains our #1 priority and yet protection of the force is a persistent and critical factor we must consider during times such as these.

Informed by this guidance, and after close consultation with county and state leadership here in Central Texas, I have issued the order for Fort Hood commanders and leaders across the installation to shift to “Mission Essential Manning” as of 2 p.m. on March 24. We will continue to assess the situation and will adjust further as needed. This decision will help mitigate the spread of the virus while allowing us to maintain our core mission capabilities, and critical functions and services on the installation.

This order does not mean everyone can return to home. Mission support to the Department of Defense and the Nation continues as an enduring priority alongside our COVID-19 response. As exemplified in our oath, the Army is part of the team that the nation turns to in times of crisis, in this case with 1st responder teammates. Mission and critical services on this installation will continue to operate; these activities will adjust over time as required by the local environment and other commitments. For a list of available services please go to the “III Corps COVID-19 Information” webpage. For further information, one’s immediate chain of command and supervisors are well suited to answer questions and address special circumstances.

Throughout our Army mission and COVID-19 response, leadership and self-discipline are central to success; through the implementation of instructions, best practices and CDC guidelines. The role and importance of engaged leadership does not change because our circumstances have changed. Leaders continue to personally check on the welfare and morale of their Soldiers, while we concurrently as a community continue to care for each other. Together-as teammates, with each doing their part-we will overcome COVID-19 to protect our Soldiers, families, and communities for their safety so we can fulfill our duty to the nation. For those considered by leadership as “non-mission essential” personnel please “shelter in place” in compliance with local civic instructions. Authority to move and act in support of our mission is explicitly recognized in all the local civic instructions.

In keeping with our traditions and past successes, together we will get through this. We stand ready to answer our nation’s call and care for each other, through vigilance in our actions to combat COVID-19.

I am proud to be a Phantom Warrior and part of the communities that make up this Team. Together we make Fort Hood and Central Texas “The Great Place.”

Phantom Lethal!

SCOTT L. EFFLANDT
Major General, USA

March 24 Star Letter

FORT HOOD, Texas – As announced by Bell County Health District March 23, the COVID-19 positive case identified as a male, age range 30-39, residing in Bell County, Texas, is a Soldier assigned to 3rd Cavalry Regiment.

The Soldier is in self-isolation at his off-post residence.

Out of an abundance of caution, other Soldiers who he may have been in contact with are self-quarantined in their residences.

In another case over the weekend also announced March 23 by Bell County Health District, a military retiree identified as male, age 40-49, living in Killeen, Texas, tested positive for COVID-19 at Carl R. Darnall Medical Center.

Following established medical guidelines, the retiree called the Army Public Health Nursing 24-Hour Hotline: (254) 553-6612 prior to arrival at the hospital on Fort Hood. Medical protocols were in place for receiving the patient and conducting the test.

The retiree continues his self-isolation at home in Killeen in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Fort Hood leadership is continually monitoring the situation and working closely with the Central Texas community to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area.

Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center officials urge everyone to continue to remain vigilant in reducing the spread of the virus by taking the following steps:

  1. Implement Social Distancing. Remain dispersed even when well. Seek to maintain a 6-foot distance from others at all times. Wash your hands frequently, do NOT touch your face, and monitor yourself and others for symptoms.
  2. Use Telemedicine whenever possible for healthcare. Contact your provider by phone or message. Unless you have severe symptoms and need emergent care, do not report to sick call, the emergency room, or urgent care.
  3. Self-Isolation. When sick, stay home and away from others. If sick and you must go out, wear a mask. Protect your family and teammates from the spread of the virus. Isolate yourself early (as soon as symptoms develop) and remain isolated until symptoms abate.
  4. Beneficiaries with symptoms should contact, Army Public Health Nursing 24 Hour Hotline: (254) 553-6612.

CRDAMC Public Affairs

 

FORT HOOD, Texas — Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is implementing changes to facility access and visitor policies throughout its clinics and medical homes to help prevent the spread of coronavirus to Soldiers, Family Members, Retirees and employees.

Restricted Access Points and Visitor Screenings

Restricted access points and mandatory patient screenings to rapidly identify individuals who may have symptoms of respiratory illness are being implemented at all Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center facilities.  Patient Screenings are already underway at Thomas Moore Health Clinic, Soldier Centered Medical Home, and began Wednesday, March 18, at the main hospital.

Beneficiaries concerned that they may be exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a cold, or flu should call their clinics before coming to any of CRDAMC’s medical facilities. Please call 254.288.8888 during normal business hours to be connected with your clinic, or the Army Public Health Nursing 24-hour hotline at 254.553.6612.

Beneficiaries and visitors who arrive at any screening point and meet the clinical threshold for further evaluation will be directed to the Respiratory Illness Clinic (RIC) for additional medical assessment and instructions.

Appointments

Patients are encouraged to use virtual care options routine appointments that do not require a face-to-face visit. Virtual health options include Secure Messaging through the TRICARE online portal and telephone consultation through the patient appointing service (PAS) at 254.288.8888. Web visits are also available through the TRICARE online portal.

When coming to the MEDCEN for non-emergency appointments, patients (and one support companion age 16 years or older) should enter the building through the screening point located at the main entrance. Patients should allow extra time to arrive for appointments to complete the screening process.

When coming to the MEDCEN for a non-COVID-19 medical emergency, patients (and one support companion age 16 years or older) should report to the emergency room.

Visitors

In order to protect the health of all patients and healthcare workers, all CRDAMC inpatient and outpatient clinics will observe a modified visitation policy. Effective immediately, inpatient visitation is limited to one visitor at least 16 years of age. For outpatient clinic appointments, beneficiaries are limited to one support companion age 16 years or older. All visitors will be screened before entering clinical areas.

Please note in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, visitors under the age of 16 and over the age of 60 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Visitors must stay in the patient’s room the entire time of the visit. Once the visitor leaves the patient room, they must leave the hospital.

Pharmacy

CRDAMC’s Main Outpatient Pharmacy and Clear Creek PX Pharmacy implemented mandatory prescription drop-off March 20. Patients should drop off prescriptions and return later to pick up. The move is aimed at limiting congregating and social distancing practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Patients will receive a text message or automated phone call when their prescription is ready. Patients should estimate a three to four hour turn around for pick up.

If beneficiaries do not receive a phone call or text within 24 hours, they should call 254.288.8800 (Main Pharmacy) or 254.618.7024 (Clear Creek PX).

Patient Advocate and Ombudsman

The Patient Advocacy and Ombudsmen offices have suspended face-to-face services until further notice. Please contact their offices for assistance on regular duty days via telephone from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Contact the Patient Advocates office at 254.288.8156 (voicemail is available) or email them at usarmy.hood.medcom-crdamc.mbx.websitecomments@mail.mil.

Contact Ombudsmen:   254.286.7036 (o) or 254.535.6752 (c), 254.286.7791 (o) or 254.535.2166 (c)

 

CRDAMC Events:

CRDAMC beneficiary classes, support groups and special events are canceled until further notice. Beneficiaries with questions or concerns should contact the appropriate clinic for support.

 

Additional COVID-19 Information and Resources

Army COVID-19 information line 1.800.984.8523

Nurse Advice line at 1.800. TRICARE (874.2273); Option 1.

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hotline at 1.800.CDC.INFO (800.232.4636)

CRDAMC APHN hotline 254.553.6612.

Beneficiaries needing care should call the TRICARE appointment line at 254.288.8888 or 1.800.305.6421 or online at https://www.tricareonline.com

Additional information on preventive measures can be found on the CRDAMC website at: https://crdamc.amedd.army.mil. or via social media.

 

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III Corps and Fort Hood leaders address the community via a Facebook Live March 19 about how the installation is handling COVID-19. Pictured, from left, are Col. Richard Malish, commander of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center; Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, Task Force Phantom sergeant major; and Col. Jason Wesbrock, commander of U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood. (U.S. Army photo by Brandy Cruz)

FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood senior leaders fielded dozens of questions from concerned community members during an hour-long Facebook Live virtual town hall event here, March 19.

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, deputy commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, was joined on a panel of senior leaders by Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Commander Col. Richard Malish; Col. Jason Wesbrock, commander, U.S. Army Garrison – Fort Hood; and Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, Task Force Phantom senior enlisted advisor.

Following opening remarks from the commanders, the panel began taking questions. Immediately, a community member noted the panel members were sitting too closely together, writing, “These gentlemen are sitting too close. As leaders, please set a good example for others. Protect yourselves and move apart.”

Efflandt addressed that issue up front, when asked about social distancing.

“Let me start out that the command team sitting at this table is not adhering to social distancing, and we’re not proud of that,” the general said. “However, we thought it was important to get these four people together so we could talk to you. Sometimes you have to do what’s necessary to take care of the team.”

Efflandt stressed that commanders are empowered to do what is necessary to take care of their teams, while ensuring their readiness to accomplish their missions, as well.

“A question asked was why are we not in complete quarantine with everyone home? Many do not fully appreciate that the core responsibilities of Soldiers continue, even in times of crisis like COVID-19. Like a first responder, we don’t get off days.” Efflandt further emphasized, “While maintaining the health and safety of Soldiers, families, and communities, we need to take every chance to maintain our edge, our readiness.”

Another community member wanted to know what would happen to on-post residents if the post was locked down.

“I don’t foresee the post getting locked down,” Efflandt stressed. “That’s a category of response that would not be appropriate for the infectious disease we’re facing now, but what you would likely see, if we get an exponential increase in the outbreak of the disease is a reduction of services on the garrison, up to and including minimum personnel only. It would look more like when we have an ice storm here or bad weather. It would be key and essential (personnel) and we would take that pause while we regrouped and assessed what that environment would look like.

“We wouldn’t be locked down,” he added. “The threat is not from us. The threat is from a disease being spread and we would reduce the opportunity for that to happen.”

Malish took on the majority of the questions regarding healthcare and COVID-19. He told the Facebook audience that CRDAMC is looking to start a drive-thru clinic for respiratory patients and is looking to expand child care offered in the hospital, allowing parents with children to go to their appointments while the installation’s child development centers are closed for the time being.

“I was honored to participate in the Facebook town hall today,” Malish said afterward. “Communication and education are extremely important at this point in time. I’m hopeful that I emphasized strongly enough the three things the Fort Hood community must do to decrease the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We must, first, self-isolate when sick, seek healthcare through the phone or internet, and engage in social distancing. We must do these things to conserve our fighting strength, protect our vulnerable population, and protect the viability of our healthcare system.

“We appreciate the great questions and feedback provided during the town hall,” he added, “and look forward to the community’s ongoing support as we enter uncharted waters.

When a question about empty shelves at the commissaries on the installation arose, Wesbrock discussed the issue.

“We’re not having a problem getting products in,” the garrison commander said, “it is an issue of stocking the shelves.”
He added that over the past week, the commissary has sold five times their daily average.

“Be patient,” he added, urging commissary patrons to not buy more than what they need.

In addition to coronavirus-related issues directed at the panel, the garrison commander also answered several questions regarding Fort Hood on-post housing. He stressed the importance for on-post residents to speak up if their issues are not being addressed, and to reach out to the Community Life Noncommissioned Officer Program representative in their housing community.

The general agreed.

“They are our eyes and ears,” Efflandt said, “and they report directly to us.”

Technical difficulties forced the town hall livestream to be rebooted several times. Even so, Efflandt said it was heartening to reach out to the Fort Hood military community and hear their concerns.

“Clearly using social media has great benefits. This is one of several means III Corps wants to use to reach all members of the team so that they are informed and connected to their Army and Ft Hood. Together we will win and be Army Strong!”

The virtual town hall video feeds can be found at www.facebook.com/forthood.

Following the virtual town hall event, Fort Hood’s Directorate of Emergency Services announced via the post’s social media platforms that beginning at 5 a.m., March 20, it will implement 24/7 use of the automated ID card scanners at the post’s entrance gates to comply with social distancing measures. This change will remain the standard until further notice.

 

 

FORT HOOD, Texas – The Fort Hood senior commanding general will host a Fort Hood Virtual Town Hall at 9 a.m. March 19 live on the Fort Hood Facebook Page available at Facebook.com/FortHood.

Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, III Corps deputy commanding general, will address his virtual audience with an opening statement followed by statements from the Carl R. Darnall Medical Center commander Col. Richard Malish who will brief on the current state of the Coronavirus situation and its impact to Fort Hood. Fort Hood Garrison commander Col. Jason Wesbrock will also briefly address the status of Fort Hood housing.

Participants are encouraged to submit questions ahead of time to the commander at http://forthoodpresscenter.com/ask-your-town-hall-questions-here.

Questions with the most mass appeal will be addressed live during the town hall. All other questions will be staffed by subject matter experts and answered via email.

“My priority is maintaining mission readiness for Fort Hood units and protecting the greater Fort Hood community,” said Efflandt.

“We recognize that this is a very dynamic situation, and conditions will continue to change. We will continue to make risk-based decisions that are fully informed by health experts, senior leaders, and government leaders from the local to national level and actively communicate those decisions through the chain of command. We will also maximize the use of Fort Hood social media outlets to enhance communication and ensure timely information is provided to our Soldiers, Civilians, and Families.”

Everyone should continue to:

  • Actively practice ‘social distancing’ — Whenever possible maintain a 6 foot distance from other persons.
  • Recommend all gatherings of 50 or more persons be canceled or postponed.
  • Avoid physical contact with other persons in social and workplace settings.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash; cough/sneeze into your elbow if tissues are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Ensure all immunizations are up to date, including your seasonal flu shot.
  • Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with Family members and pets.
  • Create an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Create a pet disaster preparedness kit.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are sick, call your medical provider for instructions on receiving care before going to the clinic • Stay informed by routinely checking reliable sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local public health agencies.

Additional information on preventive measures can be found on the CRDAMC Web site at: https://crdamc.amedd.army.mil. A hotline is also available 24/7 for Fort Hood Soldiers, their families, and those who receive medical support from the military to answer COVID-19 questions at (254) 553-6612.

FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood officials have released the name of a Soldier who died March 14 near East Rancier Avenue, Killeen, Texas.

Bell County Justice of the Peace, Judge Daryl Peters pronounced the service member deceased at 2:47 a.m. March 14.

Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr., 23, whose home of record is listed as Vidalia, Georgia, entered the Army November 2017 as a cavalry scout and has been assigned to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since April 2018.

Delacruz’s awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

“The Stallion family is truly devastated by the tragic loss of Spc. Freddy Delacruz. He was an outstanding Trooper. Each of us in the Battalion are grateful for having known him and we collectively grieve his loss. I would like to send my deepest, heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” said Lt. Col. Steven E. Jackowski, commander, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

There is currently no photo available. If one becomes available, this release will be updated at www.forthoodpresscenter.com.

The incident is under investigation by the Killeen Police Department and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. No further information will be released at this time while the investigation is underway.

FORT HOOD, Texas – Due to the recently announced presumptive COVID-19 case announced by Bell County Public Health in Belton, Texas, Fort Hood officials are recommending that all military, civilians, family members and visitors on post take appropriate action to protect themselves and others from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

In response to Bell County’s announcement Fort Hood is directing all personnel to:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
• Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash; cough/sneeze into your elbow if tissues are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Ensure all immunizations are up to date, including your seasonal flu shot.
• Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with Family members and pets.
• Create an emergency preparedness kit.
• Create a pet disaster preparedness kit.
• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• If you are sick, call your medical provider for instructions on receiving care before going to the clinic
• Stay informed by routinely checking reliable sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local public health agencies.

Additional information on preventive measures can be found on the CRDAMC Web site at: https://crdamc.amedd.army.mil. A hotline is also available 24/7 for Fort Hood Soldiers, their families, and those who receive medical support from the military to answer COVID-19 questions at (254) 553-6612.

For more information on best practices, click here:

Basic Hygiene

COVID-19 Best Practices