Fort Hood News Archive

Photos and Story by Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard, III Corps Public Affairs

III Corps and Fort Hood leaders, Soldiers, Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and community members gathered near T.J. Mills Bernie Beck main gate to assist with trash cleanup, at Fort Hood, Texas Oct. 23, 2021. With over 50 participants, the event’s goal is to increase the partnership between Soldiers and the local community through mentorship which is apart of the AUSA’s Professional Mentor Program which offers professional development forums to enhance military careers and helps strengthen the relationship between Soldiers and the local community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard)

(Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 23 2021)— On the largest single-day of volunteering, which is known as make a difference day, III Corps and Fort Hood leadership, Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA), Soldiers and community members gathered at the Marvin Leah Visitor Center to clean up TJ Mills Road, the entrance to Fort Hood.

The event kicked off make a difference day in conjunction with the second annual mentorship program started by retired 1st Sergeant Fernando Fernandez, vice president of Fort Hood Community National Bank and CTFH Chapter of ASUA committee chair. He developed the mentorship following visit from then Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy’s visit to central Texas.

“This is a part of our professional mentorship program,” said Fernandez. We started this to help build a bridge between the community and Fort Hood. Yes it’s a clean up but it’s more than just a cleanup. It’s about uniting.

He said there is a large percentage of Soldiers who live off post so it is about building up the community.

Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur “Cliff” Burgoyne of III Corps and Fort Hood, thanked everyone for coming out and discussed last years event and how well members of the community did.

III Corps and Fort Hood leaders, Soldiers, Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) and community members gathered near T.J. Mills Bernie Beck main gate to assist with trash cleanup, at Fort Hood, Texas Oct. 23, 2021. With over 50 participants, the event’s goal is to increase the partnership between Soldiers and the local community through mentorship which is apart of the AUSA’s Professional Mentor Program which offers professional development forums to enhance military careers and helps strengthen the relationship between Soldiers and the local community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Melissa N. Lessard)

“We don’t own any of the road whatsoever outside of Fort Hood,” said Burgoyne.

He said the local community determined it was too dangerous to clean the road outside the gate but they figured out a way.

“It’s a chance to communicate, collaborate, and meet people from the community in conjunction with Soldiers and family members on Fort Hood,” said retired maj. gen. Ken Cox, vice president of the local ASUA chapter. This started a year ago. Fernando Fernandez is responsible for putting this together.

He said a few years ago the entrance was dirty and filled with trash. There was trash there was furniture.

“A little pride in our organization, a little bit of pride in Fort Hood, we made a decision in conjunction with command sgt. maj. Burgoyne, to get out here and clean up our entrance. This is round two of that.

He said he wants to make sure first time visitors to Fort Hood are proud of the organization as they come in. The second part of event is mentorship.

“At some point in time, regardless of where you are at in your military career, you are going to take off your military uniform,” said Cox. “You have to think about what you are going to do next. If you see someone that you know is not in the military, talk to them. If you are a civilian here today, partner with a military person today so you can talk to them about life outside the fences of Fort Hood.”

“Thats that we need as soldiers,” said Burgoyne. “We get so focused, so tunnel vision on what we do in the army that we kind of loose site on our community out there. Find someone that you don’t know, ask them their name, where they are from and just start a relationship other than your circle.”

The community gathered over 50 bags of trash and cleaned up the area outside the front gate, connected and built relationships, then enjoyed lunch together

1st Cavalry Division selects top medics to compete at Army level

(Master Sgt. Miriam Espinoza, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office)

The 1st Cavalry Division announced the Best Medic Competition’s winning team during an award ceremony Oct. 21 at Cooper Field at Fort Hood, Texas. 

Sgt. 1st Class Dain Neininger and Sgt. Chase Rheinlander, both medics from the 8th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, won after a 3-day grueling competition against three other 1CD teams also competing for the title. 

“This event serves as a tool for Soldier to promote excellence and proficiency in all subject areas pertaining to tactical combat casualty care, prolonged care and patient evacuation,” said Sgt. Maj. Michelle Loftus, chief medical Non-commissioned officer, 1st Cavalry Division. 

The Soldiers had little to no rest during the competition; the prolonged medical care on the second day of the competition, for example, went thru 10 p.m., just to get up the next day for their final event — the 12-mile ruck march, which began at 4 a.m. 

“These Soldiers showed excellent medical skills, maturity in their Soldier tasks and they had the physical strength to endure and the mental capacity to conquer stressors,” said Sgt. Maj. Elvin Medina, command sergeant major, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. 

The 3-day competition evaluated the competitors’ knowledge of water survival skills, weapons, and medical skills while putting them through various physical challenges. Each team trying their best to earn the title of Fiscal Year 2022 1st Cavalry Division Best Medic. 

“Our Soldier faced rigorous testing that challenged their stamina, Soldier and medical skills, and medical abilities in every aspect,” Loftus added.

Neininger and Rheinlander will represent the 1st Cavalry Division at the CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition, the Army level competition, in January 2022, here at Fort Hood, Texas. 

“It’s humbling and I feel honored to have compete with all the other competitors, who are outstanding, they all put a lot of time and effort in the competition, both physically and mentally,” said Neininger.  “It was a challenging, but a great competition.”

Sgt. 1st Class Dain Neininger and Sgt. Chase Rheinlander, both medics from the 8th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, are presented their awards for winning the 1st Cavalry Division’s Best Medic Competition Oct. 21 at Fort Hood, Texas. Neininger and Rheinlander will represent 1CD at the Army’s CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition in January. (Photos by U.S Army Pfc. Cheyne Hanoski, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office)
Teams await to find out who the winner for the 1st Cavalry Division’s Best Medic Competition is after they endured 3 days of medical, physical and mental tasks that tested both their medical knowledge and stamina Oct. 21 at Fort Hood, TX. In total six teams competed, two teams belong to the 1st Medical Brigade, and four to 1CD, each organization selected a team to represent them at the Army’s CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition in January. (Photos by U.S Army Pfc. Cheyne Hanoski, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office)
Sgt. 1st Class Dain Neininger and Sgt. Chase Rheinlander, both medics from the 8th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, are presented their awards for winning the 1st Cavalry Division’s Best Medic Competition Oct. 21 at Fort Hood, Texas. Neininger and Rheinlander will represent 1CD at the Army’s CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition in January. (Photos by U.S Army Pfc. Cheyne Hanoski, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office)

By Maj. Gabby Thompson, 3rd Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas–Col. Kevin D. Bradley, commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, was the guest speaker during the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee luncheon held at the Central Texas Home Builders Association, Oct. 21.

According to the Harker Heights Chamber website, the Military Affairs Committee (MAC) focuses on supporting military awareness in the community and assists in bridging the gap between the community and Fort Hood.

“We treasure the ability to partner with Harker Heights,” said Bradley. “You have been there when we’ve redeployed, in between, and helped us get out the door a couple of times over the last few years…so on behalf of the regiment, thank you for all you have done to support us.”

Approximately 75 members of the Harker Heights Chamber, the MAC and others were present for the luncheon, where Bradley provided updates on the regiment’s contributions to the community and training updates before fielding questions from chamber and community members.

Earlier this month, the regiment began steadily increasing its training as it prepares for the upcoming summer rotation to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. That increased training has added a great deal of noise both on and around Fort Hood.

“The number of small arms [weapons] being shot, the number of cannons going off, there’s probably a ‘Brave Rifles’ trooper pulling the trigger or pulling that cord…it’s important for what we are trying to accomplish…getting them ready for when their nation needs them,” said Bradley.

Over the next 6 months, the regiment will train hard and often, increasing in scale to fully prepare for the National Training Center. Preparing to deploy and deploying is always at the forefront of how the regiment trains.

“Between now and Christmas, we’re going to focus on platoon-level training…after Christmas we’ll focus on troop-level training, then in March we’ll pack up our equipment for the National Training Center,” said Bradley. “In April, we’ll ship [our equipment], then in May we’ll spend about good month in the California desert seeing what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last few months.”

The regiment’s rotation to the National Training Center is their culminating event, signifying their readiness as a unit.

“These rotations allow us to execute the planning and actual movement of our equipment…so that when we come back, the regiment can move into the deployment pool as the Army’s Immediate Response Force.”

The most recent deployment of the Army’s IRF was the 82nd Airborne Division deployment to Kabul during the Afghanistan evacuee mission.

There are currently over 4,400 troopers proudly serving in the regiment, with a robust vehicle fleet to match. With just over 1,000 vehicles, maintaining the regiment’s fleet and high readiness rates is challenging due to the sheer scale and volume of the fleet and often contentious repair parts supply chain, but Bradley is focused and dedicated to keeping the regiment ready at a moment’s notice.

“At least two times a month, we conduct sustainment terrain walks, where I, the regimental staff and technical experts visit squadron motor pools where squadron leadership walk us through their maintenance and logistics processes,” said Bradley. “We need to consistently ensure our leaders and staff who may have changed positions what we expect of our maintainers and how we can continue to be successful.”

Bradley also provided a summary of the regiment’s previous missions, including the summer Cadet Summer Training mission, where over 900 troopers traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky, providing basic Army skills training, mentorship and leader training support to almost 10,000 cadets during the Army’s largest single training event of the year.

Bradley also highlighted the ongoing efforts to re-energize the regimental footprint, affectionally dubbed “Brave Rifles Country” on Fort Hood. The regiment is responsible for most of the buildings that run east of the newly renamed Legends Way beginning at T.J. Mills Boulevard and ending around Red Bud Drive.

The regiment kicked off its 175th anniversary celebration with Brave Rifles Week in May, and has since made changes to building, street and field names, updated some of the landscape and taken steps to directly address recommendations from the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee report published in December 2020.

“My assessment today is that the climate has changed,” said Bradley. “The one bellwether I use to determine that change is our store in front of the regimental headquarters that our association runs…in the 3 months leading up to Brave Rifles Week, they sold more t-shirts, hats and sweatshirts than we had sold in the last 5 years…we’re on a decent trajectory to getting that morale and pride back.”

There is more evidence of change around the regiment, too. A FHIRC finding revealed the regiment did not have dedicated space for its Equal Opportunity or Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention program professionals to operate.

“We named the building in the center of our regimental area ‘Old Bill Hall,’ and that’s a one-stop shop where a non-commissioned officer can take a soldier who needs help…we painted and renovated the building and it now houses our SHARP, EO, re-enlistment, Military Family Life Coordinator staff and has a computer lab with 20 computers for our soldiers to use for professional development or college courses.”

The community was also pleased to see the one-stop shop concept come back to Fort Hood.

During the question and answer portion of the luncheon, Sgt. 1st Class (Retired) Ken Cates, chief executive officer of the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, remembers a time when one-stop shops were common and necessary for soldiers.

“I applaud your team for reestablishing the one-stop shop,” said Cates. “As a retired Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, we had one in 69th Air Defense Artillery…it facilitates that openness where troopers can seek help.”

The regiment also participates in Fort Hood’s robust Adopt a School program, teaming up with 12 schools throughout the central Texas community and 2 in Harker Heights-Union Grove Middle School and Harker Heights Elementary.

“I’m sure the students get a kick out of having the troopers on campus, asking them all sorts of questions,” said Bradley. “So far this year, we’ve volunteered over 175 hours in our Harker Heights schools and we’re involved in some revitalization projects around the schools as well.”

Bradley invited the chamber to help spread the good news about the regiment, beyond what the local community may see in the news, in the paper or even on social media.

“We’ve had some great support from the local media here,” said Bradley. “I do really appreciate the media and the leaders in this room who have helped us to talk about the good things we have going on in the regiment.”

Over the next 6 months, as the regiment trains for the National Training Center, there will be media days open to both media and the local community to come observe training, interact with soldiers and get a closer look at the newly modernized vehicle fleet in the regiment.

Whether speaking about training, the regiment’s success or upcoming training, one theme remained the same: community.

“As we transitioned as an Army and moved from smaller bases in the cities to larger bases, we’ve lost a sense of community,” said Bradley. “It’s really important to the regiment and our troopers that we get back out there and reach out to all the great communities around us and make those bonds and connections.”

For more information about the 3rd Cavalry Regiment community relations or how to join for upcoming media days, contact the 3rd Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs at 254-423-5741 or gabriela.s.thompson2.mil@army.mil.

Col. Kevin Bradley (center) with members of the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee in Harker Heights, Texas, Oct. 21.
Col. Kevin Bradley speaks to the audience during the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee luncheon in Harker Heights, Texas, Oct. 21.
Col. Kevin Bradley (left) speaks to Sgt. 1st Class (retired) Kevin Cates, the chief executive officer of the Fort Hood Area Habitat for Humanity, in Harker Heights, Texas, Oct. 21.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs
NEWS RELEASE: 21-010
Oct. 21, 2021
EXCHANGE MEDIA CONTACT: MARISA CONNER – connermar@aafes.com

 

FORT HOOD – Fort Hood retirees and military families can keep their smiles bright without having to go off-post, thanks to the opening of a DOCS dental office at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Clear Creek shopping center.

Fort Hood Garrison Commander Col. Chad Foster and DOCS CEO Dr. Larry Caplin joined Fort Hood Exchange General Manager Chris Haefner in celebrating the grand opening of the dental office on Oct. 21. Country music performers the Josh Abbott Band performed live and signed autographs for shoppers.

“The convenience of dental services on-post is a tremendous benefit to the Fort Hood community,” Haefner said. “The Exchange is committed to making life better for all who call Fort Hood home.”

In addition to retirees and military dependents, Veterans with service-connected disabilities, Department of Defense civilians and other Common Access Card-holders can also visit the dental office.

Fort Hood has been identified as one of “the Big Four” posts that are remote, austere or facing quality-of-life challenges. U.S. Army Installation Management Command is the lead agent for implementing the myriad aspects of the initiative, and the Exchange has been working with IMCOM to make Fort Hood a better place to work and live.

Recent Exchange projects include renovating the Kouma Express, including adding a Slim Chickens restaurant; piloting a DoorDash partnership for on-post food delivery; and opening two new dining options at the III Corps Express. The Fort Hood Exchange is also planning to add a Hunt Brothers Pizza, a Freshens restaurant and a Bath & Body Works in the coming months.

The DOCS dental office has 19 operatory rooms and provides a wide range of services to include general dentistry, orthodontics, periodontics, endodontics and cosmetic.  The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, and accepts all TRICARE dental plans for beneficiaries, as well as the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and other insurances. For more information, call (254) 423-9234.

 

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About AAFES
Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 54th-largest retailer in the United States. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, your Exchange benefit has provided $3.4 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at http://www.shopmyexchange.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ExchangePAO.

 

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Media Notes:  For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Marisa Conner at (214) 312-5111 or connermar@aafes.com.

Follow the Exchange:
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shopmyexchange
Instagram: @shopmyexchange

 

The 1st Cavalry Division will host an award ceremony to recognize the Best Medic Competition winners after a grueling 3-day competition Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. on Cooper Field at Fort Hood, Texas.

The Best Medic Competition is a culminating event and competition for all medical Soldiers to promote excellence and proficiency in all subject areas of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Prolonged Field Care and Patient Evacuations.

The competition tested competitors, both physically and mentally, who represented their brigade to earn the title of Fiscal Year 2022 1st Cavalry Division Best Medic.

Six two-man teams, four from 1st Cavalry Division and two from 1st Medical Brigade, competed for a chance to represent their organization at the CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition, the Army level competition, in January 2022, here at Fort Hood, Texas.

Media desiring to cover this event must RSVP to Master Sgt. Miriam Espinoza at miriam.espinozatorres.mil@army.mil no later than 7 p.m. on Oct 20.

A public affairs representative will meet the media at the south parking lot of Marvin Leath Visitors Center located on T. J. Mills Blvd. at 1:30 p.m. for an escort to the event.

A Soldiers treats a casualty during the 1st Cavalry Division Best Medic Competition Oct. 19 at Fort Hood, Texas. Six two-man teams, four from 1st Cavalry Division and two from 1st Medical Brigade, competed for a chance to represent their organization at the CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition, the Army level competition, in January 2022, here at Fort Hood, Texas.
(Photo by U.S Army Pfc. Cheyne Hanoski, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office)
Soldiers carry a casualty to an evacuation point during the 1st Cavalry Division Best Medic Competition Oct. 19 at Fort Hood, Texas. Six two-man teams, four from 1st Cavalry Division and two from 1st Medical Brigade, competed for a chance to represent their organization at the CSM Jack L. Clark Jr. US Army Best Medic Competition, the Army level competition, in January 2022, here at Fort Hood, Texas.
(Photo by U.S Army Pfc. Cheyne Hanoski, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office)

 

 

The Space Force, that is.

By. Capt. Taylor Criswell, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Staff Sgt. Paul Daw, 12Y geospatial engineer, was recently selected from a pool of over 3,000 applicants to transition from the U.S. Army to the U.S. Space Force. Daw is originally from Salt Lake City and has been with the 1st Air Cav. Brigade since 2019.

“It’s kind of exciting to be part of a new organization; it’s historic to some extent,” said Daw. “This is an opportunity to do something different and still stay in the military. I’m really excited to be part of the groundwork for this new branch.”

He had been joking with his counterparts for months about putting in an application when someone told him that the Space Force had opened transfer vacancies from branches other than the Air Force.

“They posted that it opened up to the rest of the branches, so I found the [posting] and applied,” Daw said. “It was a very simple, straightforward process.”

Although Daw is currently an Army geospatial engineer, his education and professional experience started elsewhere. Prior to enlisting, he attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where he earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry. He then worked as a firefighter for Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park and the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

“I take a lot of pride in all the things I’ve done for the Army and the things I did in my civilian education,” he said. “It’s really paid off.”

Daw joined the Army in 2015 and completed his first assignment with the 10th Mountain Division. In addition to his undergraduate education, he also completed a graduate certificate in geographic information systems (GIS).

Although he is required to attend the Space Force equivalent of advanced individual training (AIT), there are similarities with his current occupation. Army geospatial engineers collect, analyze and distribute geographic information for operations.

“I’ll be doing intelligence work based on satellite imagery collections,” he said. It is essentially “tactical identification from space platforms.”

When asked how his family felt, he said the transition to the Space Force had the potential to be very good for his family. His brother is a military intelligence non-commissioned officer with the Air Force, stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where Daw hopes to be stationed.

“My dad is super, super excited,” he said. “He was visiting this weekend and I let him know that I got my official letter. He said he had to get a photo. So, he took a picture of it- Congratulations, Sergeant. You’ve been transitioned to the Space Force.”

For more information about the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, please contact Capt. Taylor Criswell, Brigade Public Affairs Officer, at donald.t.criswell.mil@army.mil.

Staff Sgt. Paul Daw poses with his wife, Christine, and their two children.

 

By Maj. Gabby Thompson

3d Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Performance experts from the Fort Hood Ready and Resilient Performance Center joined leaders and troopers from 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment to kick off their 6-month embed program during foundational day training here, Oct. 15.

2d Squadron, also known as “Sabre,” will head to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California next spring for their training rotation, and their leadership wanted to find ways to help their troopers excel at their training objectives.

“This group is a little different from other folks we’ve brought in before,” said Ltc. James Bithorn, commander of 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment. “We want you to focus on your spiritual, emotional and physical readiness. That readiness starts with you, our leaders.”

During the next 6 months, Sabre troopers will have unlimited access to the R2 Performance Center staff and resources they need to ensure they are fully ready to deploy to California for their training.

The R2 Performance Center performance experts offer a healthy mix of experience, with backgrounds ranging from previous collegiate and Olympic athletes to military veterans.

“We want to help you take your existing physical and mental skills to help you reach your identified goals,” said Quincy Palou, an R2 Performance Center performance expert.

Much like hiring a personal trainer or a strength coach, the performance experts will help troopers tap into their less tangible skill sets and exploit them to help increase their effectiveness and mental stamina during training.

“Our performance enhancement curriculum is designed to help you use your mental skills to reach a specific performance goal,” said Palou. “We can help you manage your mental energy to power through your training exercise.”

During the training session held in the 3d Cavalry Regiment classroom, troopers were separated by unit into small groups as the performance experts led them through some communication exercises, then gathered together to discuss and share what they gleaned from each other and the performance experts.

Exercises focused on communication techniques leaders can use with their subordinate troopers to effectively communicate and continue building trust among their troops.

“Some troopers just get it automatically, but some just need a little more coaching…when someone knows the why, they have a sense of purpose,” said Capt. William Sherwood, commander of Rattler Troop, 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment.

Building cohesive teams and cultivating trust also supports the Operation People First Campaign, launched in the fall of 2020.

“We saw the issues some of you had in your command climate surveys…some of that was based on how you communicate with each other,” said Palou.

Routine, voluntary command climate surveys provide commanders anonymous feedback about how their organizations are working.

Under Operation People First, surveys that meet certain criteria are required to have an action plan to help correct the identified issues or concerns.

Many of the troopers are eager to start working with the performance experts.

“I think it’s going to be very beneficial…to have those outside eyes looking at us and maybe seeing ways we can improve and make ourselves better,” said Staff Sgt. Jake Iacona, a Sabre non-commissioned officer.

But most importantly, the R2 Performance Center experts are interested in helping Sabre troopers become better at tackling life.

“These resources will help you get over that hurdle you may be facing in your personal life, or physical training…to make you better leaders, better soldiers, better parents,” said Palou.

For more information on this story, call 254-423-5741 or email gabriela.s.thompson2.mil@army.mil.

Performance experts from the Fort Hood Ready and Resilient Center joined troopers from 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment to discuss effective communication at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Gabby Thompson)
Staff Sgt. Chiquita Pullum (left) coaches 1st Sgt. Cory Plunk during an effective communication exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Gabby Thompson)

FORT HOOD, Texas — The Boeing Company, in conjunction with the Dallas Stars Foundation and Pro Players Foundation, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Oct. 26 to celebrate the completion of the Fort Hood Ball Hockey Court located at the corner of Old Ironsides Ave. and 74th Street here.

Starting at 4 p.m. Oct. 26, military identification card holders will be able to begin playing hockey with clinics being conducted by Dallas Stars players.  Ball hockey is patterned after and closely related to ice hockey, except the game is played in tennis shoes on a non-ice surface.

The Fort Hood Ball Hockey Court will be a multi-purpose outdoor court. The court surface will be built using Sport Court®, a high-quality modular synthetic sports flooring system, a 48′ x 94′ (4,512 sq. ft.) of outdoor surfacing that will be lined for ball hockey. Dasher boards will surround the court at 42″ tall with two gates for entrance that give you the feel like you are playing in a hockey rink. Two National Hockey League steel ball hockey goals will be placed on either end of the court.

Media interested in attending must register here at no later than 5 p.m. CST Oct. 21.

On the day of the event, media will gather at the Marvin Leath Visitor Center south side parking lot by 11:45 a.m. to be escorted onto post by Public Affairs personnel.

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About Boeing
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at http://www.boeing.com.

About The Dallas Stars Foundation
The Dallas Stars Foundation was established to serve as a positive force throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The Foundation focuses its efforts on providing support to the children of the community so they may lead quality lives and develop into contributing members of society. Through teamwork, interaction, and education, the Dallas Stars Foundation works to bring together all members of the Metroplex and build a bright future for today’s youth.

About Pro Players Foundation
The Pro Players Foundation’s mission is to enrich the lives of kids in need across North Texas. Through their programs, Pro Players Foundation provides youth assistance to overcome dire needs and opportunities for future success with the help of corporate sponsors, professional sports teams partners, advisory board, and an army of community volunteers.

An AH-64E Apache helicopter is towed from the landing zone to the blade fold site at the Port of Beaumont. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)
AH-64 Apaches in line for blade folding. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka.)

Story by. 1st Lt. Hayley Haka, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Pilots and crews have been flying non-stop over the past week from Fort Hood to Beaumont, Texas in preparation for their deployment to support Atlantic Resolve. Soldiers from “Air Cav” have spent months preparing AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to be flown to the port then loaded onto shipping vessels.

“Port operations in an aviation unit provides a distinct opportunity for our aircraft maintainers to exercise shipment configuration techniques prior to movement,” said Maj. Brian Hewko, commander of Bravo Company, 615th Aviation Support Battalion and port operations officer-in-charge. “This differs from conventional ground force movement activities. This mission is one that only our troopers can accomplish as we rely entirely on our own tools, training and experience to prepare our aircraft for sealift or airlift.”

Cpl. Oscar Cantu, a 15R AH-64 attack helicopter repairer and blade fold team leader, said his team was efficient and effective in each step of the task due to the training they did at Fort Hood in preparation for port operations. “Our first priority here is safety,” said Cantu. “But we are gaining even more experience here that we can use at another port anywhere around the world.”

Once at the port, soldiers worked diligently to remove and reposition rotor blades, remove specialized exterior equipment, and pack aircraft interiors with the blade fold kits. Then, they moved aircraft into a dense-pack formation, staging them to be rolled on and secured to the ships.

“Recognizing how critical they are in the process of projecting combat power, this mission gives our soldiers a true sense of purpose and pride in what they do,” said Hewko. “They know only they can do it. You can feel their motivation when they work, and their satisfaction in knowing they’re a part of something strategically critical.”

“When we get to Europe,” explained 1st Lt. Bryan Buckley, a platoon leader in Alpha Co., 7-17th Air Cav. Squadron, “we will be able to improve multinational interoperability and deter any possible threats. We’ve been training on different tactics and skills and have been preparing our equipment over the last several months. We are ready to get to Europe.”

Since April 2014, U.S. Army Europe and Africa has led the Department of Defense’s Atlantic Resolve land efforts by rotating units based in the U.S. to Europe. There are four types of U.S. Army Atlantic Resolve rotations – armored, aviation, sustainment task force and division headquarters. Rotational units conduct bilateral, joint and multinational training events across more than a dozen countries. Atlantic Resolve is funded by the European Deterrence Initiative, which enables the U.S. to enhance deterrence, increase readiness and support NATO.

For media queries about Atlantic Resolve, email atlanticresolve@army.mil.

For more information about the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, please contact Capt. Taylor Criswell, Brigade Public Affairs Officer, at donald.t.criswell.mil@army.mil.

Soldiers from Bravo Co., 7-17th Air Cav. Squadron utilize a blade fold kit to raise and rotate each Apache helicopter blade to the rear of the aircraft on Oct. 18. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)
Spc. Diego Camarillo, a 15R from Bravo Co., 615th Aviation Support Battalion, secures an Apache helicopter rotor blade. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)
Spc. Steven Dalton, a 15R from Bravo Co., 615th Aviation Support Battalion replaces blade pins in order to allow the rotor blade to move freely. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)
Soldiers from Bravo Co., 615th Aviation Support Battalion utilize a blade stand to rotate an Apache helicopter blade into the support stand on the rear of the aircraft. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Hayley Haka)

 

PHOTO UPDATE: Fort Hood residents enjoy free BBQ courtesy of Cowboys 4 Heroes.

Beauden Delaney, son of Staff Sgt. Brendan Delaney, 1st Cavalry Division, chooses a free pumpkin to take home during Fort Hood’s Fall Festival, which was held alongside of Togetherness Day and Cowboys 4 Heroes Oct. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs.)
Darran Markham with Guadalupe Red from Center Point scoops out homemade peach cobbler, while Spc. Dahnia Smith, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, grabs a cup to try during the free Cowboys 4 Heroes event at Fort Hood’s Fall Festival and Togetherness Day Oct. 16.
Anna and Ruth Johnson, daughters of Maj. Andrew Johnson, Operational Test Command, paint on some pieces of wood during the Togetherness Day event, which was held in conjunction with the Fall Festival and Cowboys 4 Heroes Oct. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs.)
Four-year-old Lilyanna Johnson, daughter of Sgt. Ryan Johnson, 1st Cavalry Division, enjoys hula hooping in front of the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel during its Togetherness Day event, which was held in conjunction with the Fall Festival and Cowboys 4 Heroes Oct. 16. (U.S. Army photo by Brandy Cruz, Fort Hood Public Affairs.)

FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood hosted its Fall Fest 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Oct. 16 near the Phantom Warrior Center.

The fest was open to all military identification holders. Events included a pumpkin patch, arts & crafts, and DJ music.

“The service that these folks are providing out of the goodness of their heart is just amazing,” Maj. Gen. Steven Gilland, deputy commander for maneuver, said about Cowboys 4 Heroes.

The Cowboys 4 Heroes Foundation provided 15,000 FREE MEALS (hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage-on-a-stick — individually wrapped) to the Fort Hood community as thank you for their service to our nation.

The C4H Foundation’s mission: “Cowboys 4 Heroes assists combat veterans during the challenging transition from active duty to civilian life. The volunteers that comprise the Cowboys 4 Heroes help veterans with combat related wounds of war as they and their families find and adjust to their new normal. Since 2010, Cowboys 4 Heroes donors and volunteers have provided more than 750,000 meals to transitioning veterans and their families while providing more than $275,000 in educational support to FFA and 4H Youth that raise the steer which are locally processed and provided to the program partners to assist veterans and their families.