III Corps and Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland discussed his recent command post in the Middle East and the current status of the Army during a Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce’s Military Relations Council luncheon Friday at Grace Christian Center in Killeen.
MacFarland returned in August from a 12-month deployment serving as the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, where he helped lead the fight against the Islamic State.
MacFarland also talked about reduced troop levels in the Army, funds to train soldiers and a lack of upgrades to aging combat equipment. He said that half of the barracks at Fort Hood are “below acceptable standards.”
Constant deployment rotations take a toll on soldiers and their families, said MacFarland, and programs to help them with deployment-related issues are suffering, too.
“Something’s gotta give,” said the three-star general.
He thanked the Killeen community for its continued support of troops.
“We’re very fortunate to have friends like all of you who help our families get through those difficult times. They don’t need pity; really what they need is a little bit of understanding,” MacFarland said.
He blamed the cutbacks in the military on sequestration, a provision of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that imposes across-the-board spending cuts if Congress and the White House cannot agree on more targeted cuts aimed at reducing the budget deficit.
Read more about what MacFarland said in the Nov. 9 Fort Hood Herald.