Sitting at my dining room table eating a late supper in Temple last week, I noticed the vibrations in the glass of water next to me. It was kind of like “Jurassic Park” without the dinosaurs.
But what was making the vibrations, accompanied by muffled booms in the background?
“Is it a train?” I asked my wife.
“No, it’s Fort Hood,” she said.
And she was right.
The big guns were firing a lot last week, with multiple units in the field for live-fire exercises.
I’m sure we weren’t the only residents in Central Texas to hear the booms coming from Fort Hood recently.
Two large Fort Hood units — 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Cavalry Regiment — have both been conducting live-fire training with tanks and other vehicles.
Soldiers with 3rd Brigade’s 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, have been participating in tank and Bradley gunnery training for nearly a month, and earlier this week began a culmination exercise with mortars, field artillery and other assets, according to the brigade.
The tank and Bradley unit is scheduled to go to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., in February with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.
The regiment has been doing its own live-fire training since September, and will likely be doing so until mid-December, said the regiment’s public affairs officer, Maj. Vance Trenkel.
The regiment’s roughly 4,500 troops and more than 600 Stryker vehicles have been rotating through firing ranges as they prepare for their monthlong training mission at NTC. “They are training out at different levels,” Trenkel said.
Some Strykers are outfitted with tank-like 105 mm main guns, which do make a lot of noise, Trenkel said, adding the regiment also has been training with heavy artillery pieces.
The recent weather changes also have played a part in what people are hearing from the post’s training areas.
“Low cloud cover and wind have carried the noise,” Fort Hood spokesman Chris Haug said.
All that said, I don’t mind the booms from Fort Hood. They are not loud enough to keep me from sleeping, and I agree with the term many people in the area call them: the sounds of freedom.