Fort Hood News Archive

B-ROLL UPDATE: Click here for B-Roll of a UH-60 helicopter battling today’s brush fire. 

FORT HOOD, Texas– Firefighters are working to contain the fire which is currently estimated to exceed 250 acres and is 50 percent contained.

The Texas A&M Forest Service was on-site and provided support for aerial reconnaissance and four fixed-wing aircraft that completed eight drops of fire retardant.

The Fort Hood Fire Department has identified a 60-acre second fire in the vicinity of Clabber Creek Multi Use Range and are utilizing the second CH-47 to conduct air drops, that fire is also 50 percent contained.

The Directorate of Emergency Services, Directorate of Public Works and units will continue with air drops on hot spots, blading operations, and ground attacks until sunset. After sunset, DES officials will place brush-truck crews to monitor the fire activity overnight.

More information will be released on www.FortHoodPressCenter.com  as it becomes available.

FORT HOOD, Texas– Firefighters are working to contain the fire which is currently estimated to exceed 250 acres and is 50 percent contained.

The Texas A&M Forest Service was on-site and provided support for aerial reconnaissance and four fixed-wing aircraft that completed eight drops of fire retardant.

The Fort Hood Fire Department has identified a 60-acre second fire in the vicinity of Clabber Creek Multi Use Range and are utilizing the second CH-47 to conduct air drops, that fire is also 50 percent contained.

The Directorate of Emergency Services, Directorate of Public Works and units will continue with air drops on hot spots, blading operations, and ground attacks until sunset. After sunset, DES officials will place brush-truck crews to monitor the fire activity overnight.

More information will be released on www.FortHoodPressCenter.com  as it becomes available.

FORT HOOD, Texas — At approximately 9 a.m. June 13, Fort Hood emergency services personnel responded to a wildland fire in the east side of training area complex.

Firefighters are working to contain the fire which is currently estimated to exceed 200 acres and is 50 percent contained. The Directorate of Emergency Services incident commander requested mutual aid from Killeen Fire Department, Harker Heights Fire Department, Moffat Fire Department, Copperas Cove Fire Department and Gatesville Volunteer Fire Department to provide support to the area north of Owl Creek, along Owl Creek Road to protect structures.

The Texas A&M Forest Service is on-site and is providing support for aerial reconnaissance.  Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works ground crews are actively cutting fire breaks to help contain the fire from spreading.

Two Fort Riley, Kansas, CH-47 helicopters are being used to combat the fires from the air. One CH-47 is currently making drops with a 2,000-gallon Bambi-Bucket.

The Fort Hood Fire Department has identified a 60 acre second fire in the vicinity of Clabber Creek Multi Use Range and are utilizing the second CH-47 to conduct air drops. That fire is also 50 percent contained.

Although the cause of the fires have not been determined, training or live fire is not believed to be involved.

East Range Road at Cold Springs and Taylor Valley roads have been closed due to the fire. Military police have set up traffic control points and are controlling traffic to Belton Lake.

More information will be released on www.FortHoodPressCenter.com  as it becomes available.

 

 

 

MG (R) Robert L. Halverson receiving the Fort Hood Good Neighbor award from Lt. Gen. Pat White, Fort Hood and III Armored Corps commander, and III Armored Corps Command Sergeant Major Cliff Burgoyne. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Franklin, Fort Hood Public Affairs)
Robert W. (Bobby) Hoxworth receiving the Fort Hood Good Neighbor award from Lt. Gen. Pat White, Fort Hood and III Armored Corps commander, and III Armored Corps Command Sergeant Major Cliff Burgoyne. (U.S. Army photo by Eric Franklin, Fort Hood Public Affairs)

By Eric Franklin
Fort Hood Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas – Fort Hood leadership, families, and local community members gathered June 9 at Lone Star Conference Center, here, to honor their 2022 Fort Hood Good Neighbor Awardees. With more than 80 in attendance at the dinner, Lt. Gen. Pat White, Fort Hood and III Armored Corps commanding general, gave the opening introductions for the 2022 Fort Hood Good Neighbors.

“I want to tell you thank you because if not for you, there would be nobody out there in the capacity of what you do to help our families and our soldiers,” White said.

Bobby Hoxworth, CEO and president of First National Bank Texas has been with the company for more than 40 years. He began his career in 1981 and has since held several positions. In addition to his work with the bank, he serves as treasurer for the Killeen Economic Development Corporation, the Fort Hood Regional Economic Development Foundation, and the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance. Hoxworth is a native of Texas and currently resides in Killeen. He is an active member of the community and his many years of experience in the banking industry make him a valuable asset to many organizations.

Hoxworth said he is proud to be a part of a group that does so much for the Central Texas community.

“As I look around the room and I thought about this evening, I know so many giants sit in the room that have done so much for our community,” Hoxworth said. “… it’s truly an honor to be a part of that.”

Also inducted was Maj. Gen. (R) Robert Lee Halverson who was born on Jan. 8, 1941, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He attended Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Colorado, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Construction Management. He served 16 years on Army active duty, including tours of duty in the Republic of Vietnam, the Federal Republic of Germany, Virginia, Texas, and Reserves. In October 1985, he transferred to the Texas Army National Guard. He also served in various positions throughout the United Services Organization as an advisory board member as well as committee chair, past president, and current board member of the Texas Capitol Chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

“I am honored and humbled to be among so many great people,” said Halverson. “I appreciate the staff and the Garrison commander as I have always been so grateful for the work we do for the USO. I am proud to be a part of it, and thank you so much.”

White closed out the Fort Hood Good Neighbor Dinner by acknowledging the recipients. “Thank you for what you do to make the Great Place even greater,” White said.

The Fort Hood Good Neighbor Program was created to recognize local community members who have contributed significantly to enhancing the well-being of Fort Hood soldiers and their families. The Fort Hood Good Neighbor Award signifies Fort Hood’s appreciation to the “Good Neighbors” and their consistent hard work and support over the years.

The 2022 recipients’ photos will be added to the Fort Hood Good Neighbor Wall inside III Corps Headquarters.

 

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Francesca Hamilton, a key member of the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (13th ESC) front office, is pregnant with her first child and excited to be a mother-soldier in the U.S. Army. She said her leadership has been extremely supportive since she found out six months ago. She has seen peers, leaders and subordinates tackle parenthood in the military, and recognizes the lifestyle of being an expecting soldier in the world’s most robust military.

“One of my mentors is dual military,” she said. “They have six kids, and they’re both deployed to Poland right now.” She said these field-grade officers used their Family-Care Plan—a soldier’s written guide given to commanders for situations like deployments or extended training. In this case, their children had to move in with their grandparents and other family members. “They said their leadership gives them ample time to call their kids before they go to school and go to bed,” said Hamilton, a native of Houston, Texas. Their situation is a true sacrifice since being away from their families allows them to serve in career-advancing positions. 

Motherhood is challenging for all Americans. In a 2007 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 71% of women reported that being a mother today is harder than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Yet in 1997, 81% of women surveyed responded similarly. The data showed that mothers of children under 18 years old report more difficulty in balancing family and work than parents of adults (14% versus 6%, respectively). In a February 2022 Pew survey, 58% of mothers said the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to handle childcare responsibilities, compared to 43% of men surveyed. Furthermore, all soldiers—including mothers—are expected to be available 24/7 and put the mission first, which can add further strain. 

Hamilton said one of her sergeants major deployed only a short time after giving birth, an obvious hardship. This example must be seen in context to a 2019 Pentagon report that said women are overwhelmingly harassed for becoming pregnant.

“Part of this stigma stems from the perceived negative impact of pregnancy on the unit because pregnancy may lead to a reduction in workload or time away from the unit,” said the study by Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. It also indicated many female soldiers are accused of seeking to become mothers to avoid deployment.

But conditions are getting better, argues 1st Lt. Erin Flaherty, who shares and office with Hamilton in 13th ESC. She says for years conditions have still been better for mothers in the Army compared to mothers in the civilian sector. “They give mothers the time that they need,” she said, speaking about the 12 weeks the Army allows them. “And it gives them the resources like daycare to continue on with their career and be successful.” Service members pay a reduced rate for childcare which is based on rank, time in service, and combined income.

She agreed that while a soldier isn’t deployable for almost two years—the nine months before delivery and the year after when she’s re-establishing baseline fitness—it shouldn’t be viewed as a burden for the unit. “New mothers should be non-deployable because they need time to be with their newborns,” said Flaherty, a native of Rochester, New York. She said forward units need a lot of support from the rear and doesn’t see the conflict. “I don’t think it really holds anyone back from defending the nation. You’re always helping regardless of where you are.”

Yet conditions are getting even better. This January the Army updated its regulations on pregnancy and parenthood, with changes that include up to 12 months of deferred deployment, extended leave for miscarriages, and not requiring pregnant mothers to wear dress uniforms until 12 months post-partum. A white paper with roots on social media helped implement these changes. One of the authors, Lt. Col. Scott Stephens, said failing to accommodate pregnant soldiers was similar to failing to allow a paratrooper time for a broken bone to heal. Both instances would damage readiness to fight. 

Flaherty said these changes are heavily embraced by her unit and its command team. “Working at 13th ESC—Brig. Gen. Ragin is so female-empowering,” she said. “One of the first things he said to the new lieutenants was, ‘We love mothers here!’” She said the one-star general, Ronald Ragin, who departs this summer for Army Materiel Command in Alabama, acknowledged that other units in the Army have not been supportive of motherhood. She remembers him saying, “I mean this from the bottom of my heart, we support you – mothers are incredible.” For her, hearing that from a general officer was “huge!”

“I believe the Army is one of the most progressive organizations in this field,” Hamilton said. “Most working mothers in the civilian field receive half of the maternity leave we are allotted, and I am still able to do my job to the best of my ability while expecting.”

Stephens said the investment in pregnant soldiers will have high returns, with their “lifelong love of the profession.” That kind of commitment gives the U.S. Army its edge, he said. Less than 18% of soldiers are female, with fewer than 6,000 of the 182,000 of them pregnant at any one time, according to Maj. Angel Tomko, an Army spokeswoman.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Francesca Hamilton, due with her first child this fall, said that she’s grateful for the support her command and the U.S. Army at large has for her family.

615th Aviation Support Battalion welcomes new commander

By Capt. Taylor Criswell

 

ILLESHEIM, Germany—1st Air Cavalry Brigade held a change of command ceremony today between outgoing commander Lt. Col. Nick Ryan and incoming commander Lt. Col. Jacqueline Stillwell on Storck Barracks.

Brigade commander Col. Reggie Harper officiated the change of command as approximately 400 Soldiers looked on from the formation and bleachers.

“I cannot overstate the pride, admiration and respect for this battalion and Nick’s leadership of it,” stated Harper. “The Cold Steel battalion has benefitted from his leadership. It shows in all they do from phase maintenance to ground maintenance and bulk distribution and first-class signal support for our mission command nodes across the brigade.”

Set against a backdrop of dynamic world events, the 615th Aviation Support Battalion is postured across the European continent, supporting numerous 1st Air Cavalry Brigade missions during the Atlantic Resolve rotation.

Ryan, whose spouse is also an Army aviator of the same rank, says he is most proud of the stellar reputation the Soldiers have earned across the brigade and 1st Cavalry Division during his command.

“The Soldiers of the Cold Steel battalion have continuously proven their reputation as an organization that knows what it means to support,” Ryan boasted from the podium. “These Soldiers have always met the need at the right time and place to generate combat power and extend the operational reach of the Air Cav Brigade whenever and wherever it was necessary.”

The culture and the swagger that cavalry Troopers carry with them is something he says he will miss. During an award presentation before the official change of command to recognize the outgoing commander, Ryan expressed his appreciation to his colleagues and Soldiers, describing the unit as a “family.”

Ryan will return home to prepare for his next assignment as a student at the U.S. National War College in Washington, D.C.

LTC Jacqueline Stillwell joins the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade from the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team, US Army Futures Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. where she served as the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft Lead and G-3 plans/requirements officer from Sept. 2018 to April 2022.

“Since arriving in theater, I am already so proud to see our team of teams here, at Combined Resolve and elsewhere, generating combat power and sustaining operational reach while supporting our sister units and Allies,” said Stillwell during her remarks. “Our mission is incredibly important and even more so with ongoing world events.”

Stillwell is no rookie to the air cavalry lifestyle.

After graduation from flight school she was assigned to the 4-6th Air Cavalry Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., serving as the flight operations officer in charge. In 2007, she deployed as a UH-60L platoon leader to Tal Afar, Iraq, for a 15-month deployment.

Later she served as the executive officer for the 3-17th Cavalry, Heavy Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, and for 3-17th CAV, Task Force Lighthorse during the 2017-2018 deployment to Afghanistan, where TF Lighthorse conducted split-based operations across Jalalabad Airfield, Dahlke and Chapman.

The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade will be replaced later this year by the 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas to support the United States’ commitment to Atlantic Resolve.

For more information about Atlantic Resolve, visit https://www.europeafrica.army.mil/AtlanticResolve/

 

 

615th Aviation Support Battalion welcomes new commander | Article | The United States Army

 

 

FORT HOOD, Texas — Fort Hood’s Child and Youth Services, Youth Sports will host the Phantom Warrior Classic baseball tournament 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. June 11- 12  at Robert J. Evans Softball Complex  here.

More than 25 teams will compete for the championship in different age brackets. The Round Rock Express Mascot “Spike” and the III Armored Corps CSM Arthur “Cliff” Burgoyne will open the tournament with the first pitch.

Media who wish to cover the event should call (254) 449-5298  no later than 3 p.m. June 10. On June 11, media will meet a public affairs representative in the south-side parking lot of the Marvin Leath Visitor’s Center at 8 a.m. for an escort to the location.

Correction: the deadline for RSVP is 5 p.m., June 6, not June 3.

FORT HOOD, Texas – Tri-Service Military Residency Program students and medical personnel from Army, Navy and Air Force medical teams including Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserves will join for the Joint Emergency Medicine Exercise hosted by Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center June 6-10.

The purpose of the exercise is to train medical personnel in combat casualty care, aeromedical care and Forward Resuscitation Surgical Team (FRST) care.

Over 2,000 Services Members, from 70 units representing over 60 medical specialties, and multi-national medical personnel will participate in JEMX this year.

The exercise will be open to media from 1-3 p.m. June 7. Media interview opportunities with exercise coordinators and students will be available at that time.

Media representatives interested in covering this event should RSVP with CRDAMC

Public Affairs by calling (254) 338-6087 or email usarmy.hood.medcom-crdamc.mbx.pao@mail.mil by 5 p.m. Monday, June 6.

Standing shoulder to shoulder, over 500 members of the Fort Hood surrounding communities, gathered at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen during a Memorial Day ceremony to listen to Col. Ian Palmer, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team commander, honor America’s fallen on May 30.
“It is my distinct honor to represent the division, but also as a longtime member of the greater Fort Hood area,” started Palmer. “I am on my third assignment here at ‘The Great Place,’ so I have intimate knowledge of the steadfast support Killeen and the surrounding areas show for the Troopers and families that serve here; even more so for those that have sacrificed so much for this great nation, as exhibited by the tremendous showing today.”
He continued by reflecting on one of his first memories of Central Texas in 1998 when he was a 2nd Lt. and he participated in a Killeen Memorial Day ceremony,”
“I clearly remember standing in formation, at the very rigid position of parade rest, when I noticed in my peripheral vision that someone was walking through the ranks, shaking hands,” he continued. “Before I knew it, I was staring at what seemed like the belly button of this giant of a man. It was the III Corps commander at the time, Lt. Gen. Schwartz. I’m sure some of you remember Lt. Gen. Schwartz, how tall he is and how much he cared for soldiers and this community. I distinctly remember that experience, not for the fear I felt at being potential crushed by the commander, but that it demonstrated, in my opinion, the three most important aspects of Memorial Day- the people who have sacrificed for our nation, our obligation to remember them, and the communities that come together to do both on this day.”
During the ceremony, Gold Star families, Troopers, Veterans and their families watched as the colors was presented and a 21-gun salute was presented by the 1st Cavalry Division Honor Guard.
“What I try to remember each year on Memorial Day is that each of those over one million men and women had a story,” said Palmer. “Each had a mom and a dad, a home town, a reason for serving, and a way in which they perished. If we aren’t careful, discussions of numbers will wash away each of the unique stories of our fallen.”
The Killeen Mayor Debbie Nash-King, Harker Heights Mayor Spencer Smith, Command Sgt. Maj. Cliff Burgoyne, III Corps command sergeant major, and other leaders joined Palmer after the ceremony discussing their traditions of honoring the fallen.
“As we gather and pause today, we know that memorial means to remind people of a person or event,” said Nash-King. “Memorial Day is a time to reflect on how proud we are of those who bravely and unselfishly gave the ultimate sacrifice-those who served with honor and pride, even if that meant giving their own life.”
Concluding his speech, Palmer joined Nash-King and reflected on former Troopers who paid the ultimate sacrifice that he will never forget his time serving with.
“Say their names and remember them for they were mothers… they were fathers… they were daughters and they were sons… they were sisters and they were brothers… everyone here that gave their life,” he motioned to the graves. “Belonged to someone, everyone here belonged to our great nation.”

 

 

DVIDS – News – Black Jack Pays Tribute to the Fallen (dvidshub.net)

 

 

 

 

 

Black Jack Pays Tribute to the Fallen

By Mr. Blake Bagby, Military Test Plans Analyst, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Paratroopers here are busy developing new procedures to allow the Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) system to remain installed in HMMWVs during low velocity airdrops (LVAD).

“The fact that I no longer have to remove and then re-install the JBC-P system on the drop zone at 3 a.m. after an Airborne insertion will greatly improve my assembly time and overall situational awareness,” said Pfc. Joseph Cullen, an Airborne Infantryman assigned to the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

Troops with 1-504th teamed up with the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate and its riggers to work with the JBC-P Program Office, Combat Capabilities Development Center – Soldiers Center (CCDC-SC), at the Fort Lee, Virginia Quartermaster School to achieve the long sought-after enhancement.

“The preparation of the JBC-P system was really quite easy and the fact that the system no longer needs to be removed prior to Airborne operations is a time saver,” said Pfc. Austin Franks, a paratrooper with the 1-504th.

Operational testing took place at Bragg’s Yellow Ramp, late April through early May with Simulated Airdrop Impact Testing (SAIT) and preparation procedure development.

The JBC-P system also underwent a communications exercise following the SAIT where imagery was downloaded, and messages were sent and received. The system performed as designed, with zero errors.

“Leaving the JBC-P system installed in HMMWV’s prior to LVAD operations is a long overdue enhancement for paratroopers overall situational awareness during forced entry operations,” said Mr. Tom Aitken, a JBC-P Program office representative.

Operational testing culminated with the development of preparation procedures to protect the JBC-P system during LVAD and dual row airdrop system operations.

“This addition to rigging procedures means that never again will I find myself looking for the 7/16” bolt that I dropped on the drop zone in a noise and light sensitive environment,” said Spec. Daniel Devore, a Devil Brigade Airborne Infantryman.

~~

About the U.S. Army Operational Test Command:

The U.S. Army Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood, Texas, and its mission ensures systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which they train and fight. Test unit Soldiers provide feedback by offering input to improve upon existing and future systems Soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight.

The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based Airborne the Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) plans, executes, and reports on operational tests and field experiments of aerial delivery and air transportation equipment and procedures for airborne and special operations forces to provide key operational data for the continued development of doctrine and fielding of equipment to the Warfighter.