FORT HOOD — Approximately 30 percent of the more than 35,000 troops stationed at Fort Hood are deployed around the globe or currently in training at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, according to Fort Hood officials.
The troops are deployed throughout the world as part of the regular rotation of forces in support of operations in Europe, South Korea, Afghanistan and Southwest Asia, said Fort Hood spokesman Tyler Broadway.
Around 10,200 troops were away from their loved ones for Thanksgiving, but 3,500 soldiers from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are expected to be home from a training rotation at the National Training Center before Christmas.
Roughly 3,800 members of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team were able to make it home from a nine-month rotation to Southwest Asia, to include Kuwait and Iraq, just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“It was a little bit difficult — missing a loved one and being away, it’s kind of hard,” said Capt. John Bright, a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain for the 980th Engineer Battalion based in Austin. “But I was able to handle things and take care of the kids while she was down range.”
John Bright took care of the home front while his wife, 3rd Brigade Combat Team chaplain Maj. Aprill Bright, was deployed. Having her home in time for Thanksgiving was great, but having her home in time for their youngest son’s 9th birthday was the best part, he said.
“It was perfect timing, so it’s a happy time for us,” John Bright said.
Fort Hood’s top officer — III Corps commander Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II — is deployed to Kuwait and Iraq to head up Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, the global coalition to defeat the Islamic State group. He is joined by 240 III Corps headquarters troopers.
The 1st Cavalry Division has approximately 8,800 troops deployed or at the National Training Center, with around 4,300 members of the division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team in South Korea and approximately 1,000 soldiers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade in Europe. The 3,500 members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team in California are expected home in December.
The 89th Military Police Brigade has approximately 350 soldiers spread out to all theaters where the 1st Cavalry Division is serving. The 11th Signal Brigade has 270 soldiers deployed and the 36th Engineer Brigade has 130, all within the 1st Cavalry Division footprint.
More than 200 soldiers from the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade are currently deployed to Afghanistan.
The 85th Civil Affairs has fewer than 50 deployed, the 1st Medical Brigade has approximately 110, and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment has five deployed. The 13th Sustainment Command has less than 30 soldiers deployed in all theaters, including Africa.