Fort Hood has begun construction of a new mission training complex following a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.
The 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.
Maj. Gen. Doug Chalmers, the III Corps deputy commanding general for support, hosted the ceremony and said the $63 million project will support individual through collective, simulation-driven mission command training for III Corps and Fort Hood units.
“This new venue will encompass 143,481 square feet, and this will consolidate the footprint into one central unified area and will replace seven of those smaller buildings,” Chalmers said. “That would increase the quality, capacity and capability of the mission command training as it continues to provide world-class and world-leading training.”
Chalmers said the Fort Hood training complex provides realistic mission command training for the units on Fort Hood and will serve as the hub for other mission training centers, but also serve the Marines, Navy, NationalGuard, Reserves and the Air Force for their respective combat and leader simulation training needs.
“It is very much an investment into the future as that kind of training becomes more and more important,” Chalmers said.
Brian Dosa, the Fort Hood Director of Public Works, said the new facility will allow commanders to better train their units and command staff for deployments through virtual combat simulators.
“This is a great day for Fort Hood and for the Army as we break ground on this new mission training center that’s going to provide training for our soldiers and units,” Dosa said. “It’s a place for them to really learn mission command, and how to lead their units in combat.”
Dosa said using the virtual trainers saves money by eliminating the need to constantly take soldiers out in the field to train leaders.
“We’d have to take all of our soldiers out to the field and it would be very, very expensive to do, so we can use simulation to train leaders right here in this new facility when it’s constructed and that will save lots of time and lots of money to get them the kind of training that they need,” Dosa said.
Dosa said the last facility served its purpose, but since technology has improved over the years, the Army had outgrown it in terms of size and space and could no longer handle the computers and simulations the Army currently uses.
Randy Ruhl, the chief of Mission Command Training for Fort Hood, said the facility allows Fort Hood to consolidate the facilities across the installation into a single campus and will provide an individual location for soldiers to train.
“It will allow us one place where the soldiers can come for their individual training on the mission command systems, their staff training for battalion, brigade and corps level staffs and it also provides a link to our virtual and gaming-based training,” Ruhl said.
Ruhl said the new facility will allow for training soldiers from the lowest grades to the highest commanders on multiple platforms and equipment.
“We train soldiers from the youngest private on the individual systems all the way up to the III Corps commander,” Ruhl said. “We can do the entire corps headquarters with subordinate divisions at one time or we can do multiple battalion and brigades simultaneously.”
Ruhl said while the construction project will cost $63 million, an additional $8-10 million will be spent once the building is finished on simulation components, furniture and other items needed to run the facility.
Ruhl also said III Corps was the hub for mission command training with centralized contract management, financial management and training standardization for the mission training complexes at Fort Carson, Colorado, Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
The contract was awarded to MW Builders Inc. from Temple, Texas, and is expected to be completed in early 2020. The company was responsible for building the Army’s first mission training complex at Fort Riley.