The coming year will bring new construction to Fort Hood, along with a continued cycle of deployments to areas such as the Middle East and eastern Europe.

About 6,700 Fort Hood soldiers started the new year deployed around the world.

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is expecting orders overseas by February and the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team should return from South Korea by early spring. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, will continue its deployment to Europe until late summer, early fall and the III Corps headquarters will be deployed until late fall as the headquarters element for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

If the Army remains the mobile force as it has for more than a decade, thousands of Fort Hood soldiers can expect to visit a foreign country in the year to come.

Troops will see a 2.4 percent pay raise in 2018, the largest in eight years, thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act.

In a construction project approved by the Army two years ago, a $65 million renovation to 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters is expected to continue in 2018. Construction costs are about $50 million and another $10 million to $15 million will be spent on new furniture and security upgrades. A $49.8 million contract was awarded to Temple-based MW Builders for the renovation job.

In a separate construction project, work will continue through 2018 on a new mission training complex at Fort Hood.

The 143,481 square-foot facility will be built near Murphy Road and 62nd Street and will consolidate the current 10 training facilities that encompass the current mission training complex that was built in the 1980s.

The $63 million project, expected to open in 2020, will support individual through collective, simulation-driven mission command training for III Corps and Fort Hood units.

Other projects to start in 2018 include improved motor pools and barracks thanks to $70 million coming to Fort Hood from the National Defense Authorization Act, which was approved by Congress in November 2017. This is on top of $145 million for barracks renovation, funded as part of the fiscal year 2017 operation and maintenance funds passed by Congress earlier in 2017.

The funding will allow for upgrades and repairs to 15 enlisted housing barracks, many of which were condemned. Repairs will include heating and cooling, replacing electrical wiring, plumbing, lighting fixtures, stairways, ceilings, walls and other exterior and interior repairs.

Another possible groundbreaking in 2018 is the proposed National Mounted Warfare Museum, which is slated to replace the two existing Fort Hood museums. Officials said the museum has raised around $28 million of its $37 million goal, and could break ground in the new year.

To combat flash flooding at Fort Hood that has proved to be deadly in recent years, the Army will continue bridge and other improvements across the installation. A bridge is being built on Jackson Crossing along Georgetown Road and is scheduled to be completed in January 2019. The road at this crossing was destroyed twice during previous floods. In total, the Army plans on building bridges on all low-water crossings along paved surface roads at Fort Hood, eliminating the threat of flooding for motorists. | 254-501-7468

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