• August 21, 2014

Thunderbirds get settled at Fort Hood

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:30 am

FORT HOOD — The Thunderbirds have officially landed at Fort Hood.

The 11th Signal Brigade uncased its colors Wednesday morning in a ceremony at III Corps’ Sadowski Field to mark the Thunderbird Brigade’s relocation from Fort Huachuca, Ariz., to the Great Place.

The move allows the brigade to better align with its higher headquarters, III Corps, and join two of its four battalions already established on post, said Col. James Parks III, brigade commander.

“We feel extremely welcomed by the community,” he said. “It’s been really tremendous to see the outpouring of support.”

More than 100 soldiers are assigned to the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, with some of the unit’s current soldiers making the move, and many new ones joining afterward, Parks said. By August, everyone should be settled and the headquarters fully operational.

The brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Maurice Rambert said the move also will allow for better training opportunities.

“We have actual subscribers to train with and use our skills,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., commander of the 13th Sustainment Command, oversaw the ceremony and described the Thunderbird’s reputation as reliable.

“(The brigade) rarely takes a knee,” LeMasters said. “I can tell you now, that’s not going to end at Fort Hood.”

Aside from settling in this summer, the Thunderbird Brigade will be preparing its two Fort Hood battalions for deployments to Kuwait.

The 62nd Signal Battalion will deploy at the end of the summer and the 57th will follow sometime this winter.

“We like to call ourselves the most deployed signal brigade in the United States Army, and for the most part, I think that’s true. We’ve had battalions coming and going at a fairly high rate. That will continue,” Parks said. “Our motto is the sun never sets on the Thunderbirds, because we are spread out all over the place.”

The brigade spent 47 years at Fort Huachuca, even deriving its nickname, “Desert Thunderbirds” from the Native American heritage of Arizona. The 40th Signal Battalion remained at Huachuca, and the brigade’s fourth battalion, the 86th, is stationed at Fort Bliss.

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