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Fort Hood

On 5 November 2009, at least one gunman, identified as a US soldier, attacked other personnel in at Fort Hood, killing at least 12 people and wounding almost 30 others. The gunman was shot and injured when authorities responded, but 2 additional suspects were held in connection with the attacks, but were later released. They were also identified as US soldiers. The gunman was later identified as Major Nidal M. Hassan, an Army psychiatrist, who was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan later in November 2009. By 6 November 2009, the casualties were 13 killed and 30 wounded.

By population, Fort Hood is the second largest active duty Army post in the United States, with some 52,000 uniformed personnel, , a population second only to Fort Bragg. Fort Hood is the only post in the United States that is capable of supporting two full armored divisions. In addition to the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood is also home for the Headquarters Command III Corps, 3d Personnel Group, 3d Signal Brigade, 13th Corps Support Command (COSCOM), 13th Finance Group, 89th Military Police Brigade, 504th Military Intelligence Brigade, the 21st Cavalry Brigade (Air Combat), the Dental Activity (DENTAC), the Medical Support Activity (MEDDAC), Army Operational Test Command (AOTC) formerly TEXCOM, and various other units and tenant organizations.

Today Fort Hood is a three hundred and forty square mile installation. The cantonment area of Fort Hood is adjacent to Killeen, Texas in the beautiful "Hill and Lake" country of the Great State of Texas. The post stretches 26 miles from east to west and 24 miles from north to south. Fort Hood location: approximately 60 miles north of the capital city of Austin and 50 miles south of Waco. The city of Killeen borders Fort Hood to the east and Copperas Cove borders Fort Hood to the west. Access to the post is from IH-35 to U.S.Highway 190 West, at Belton, toward Killeen.

Fort Hood is located approximately: - 50 miles Southwest of Waco, Texas - 60 miles Northeast of Austin, Texas - 150 miles Northeast of San Antonio, Texas - 160 miles South of Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - 180 miles Southeast of Abilene, Texas - 180 miles Northwest of Houston, Texas - 230 miles South of Wichita Falls,Texas/Oklahoma border - 245 miles Southwest of Marshall,Texas/Louisiana border - 275 miles Northeast of Del Rio, Texas/Mexico border - 280 miles Southwest of Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas border - 280 miles Northeast of Laredo, Texas/Mexico border - 290 miles West of Orange, Texas/Louisiana border - 315 miles East of the Midland-Odessa, Texas - 340 miles Southeast of Lubbock, Texas - 385 miles North of Brownsville, Texas/Mexico border - 425 miles Southeast of Amarillo, Texas - 575 miles East of El Paso, Texas/New Mexico border.

Old has given way to new as Fort Hood facilities undergo a major upgrade. Throughout post, the original World War II-era wooden buildings have been mostly torn down to make room for modern brick and stone buildings. On an annual basis, Congress funds millions of dollars of construction programs on Fort Hood. Programs in progress include the Soldier Development Center, an improved rail loading area, a vehicle maintenance facility at West Fort Hood, additional family housing at West Fort Hood and barracks rebuilding.

There are more than 5,000 sets of quarters for enlisted soldiers and their families, and an additional 634 quarters are set aside for officers and their family members. During the next five years, more than $200 million will be spent renovating and replacing the post's family housing as part of the Residen-tial Communities Initiative. The post also has nearly 100 barracks for enlisted soldiers, 75 guest quarters and more than 340 transient quarters.

In its arsenal, the post has an array of modernized warfighting equipment. There are more than 500 tanks, including the most modern - the M1A2 System Enhancement Program Abrams tank - almost 500 Bradley fighting vehicles, about 1,600 other tracked vehicles, almost 10,000 wheeled vehicles and close to 200 fixed and rotary-winged aircraft includ-ing the high-tech AH-64D Longbow Apache.

Being the first in the digitized warfare arena and having the most modern equipment, Fort Hood soldiers also use state-of-the art training facilities. Housed in the Close Combat Tactical Trainer are exact replicas of tank and Bradley fighting vehicle crew compart-ments, which allow troops to play realistic video-game type scenarios to familiarize them-selves with the equipment and how to interact as a unit before taking the high-dollar equip-ment to the field.

Once in the field, soldiers find themselves in a semi-arid terrain that has 413 miles of paved roads and 449 miles of dirt roads. Live-fire exercises take place on 50 ranges and two scaled-down ranges located throughout the post's maneuver area.

The overall post population is estimated at about 71,000, of which are almost 42,000 soldiers. The rest are family members living on post, employees of the Army Air Force Exchange Service, volunteers and other employees. The 1st Cavalry Division is staffed with more than 17,000 soldiers, while the 4th Infantry Division has more than 11,000. The 13th Corps Support Com-mand has about 5,600, the 3rd Signal Brigade has 1,600 and the 89th Military Police Brigade has almost 1,000. Also: the Headquarters Command has about 850 soldiers; the 3rd Personnel Group with almost 800; the 21st Cavalry Brigade with more than 300; the 21st Replacement Company with more than 150; and other units at Fort Hood have about 1,200 soldiers. There are more than 37,000 enlisted soldiers and more than 3,700 officers. In addition, more than 300 Air Force airmen pull duty at the post.

Darnall Army Community Hospital officially received U.S. Army medical center status during a rededication ceremony on May 1, 2006. As a consequence, it was renamed the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The name change was meant to signify the facility's ability plan for expanded new facility requirements, specialty care services and vital training programs in the future. In addition, medical centers generally provide a greater depth of clinical support, particularly with respect to specialty care services, and also normally host a broader range of graduate medical education programs. As of April 2006, the hospital had approximately 2,500 military, civilian and contracted personnel supporting more than 150,000 TRICARE beneficiaries living within the hospital's catchment area. On an average day, there were 3,867 outpatient visits, 26 surgeries, seven newborn deliveries, 170 visits to the emergency department and nearly 5,000 prescriptions filled.

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias

Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:48:03 ZULU