• August 22, 2014

Fort Hood’s population declining

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Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:10 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

The Cove Herald

Fort Hood’s population will hit a low point in January, the post’s commander said Friday.

With the 1st Cavalry Division leaving for Iraq and units like the 4th Infantry Division’s Headquarters and 1st Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment on the verge of returning, the number of soldiers will fall to 39,950, Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch said during a media roundtable Friday afternoon at Fort Hood.

The 4th Infantry’s Headquarters and 1st Brigade Combat Team is set to move to Fort Carson, Colo., 90 days after returning from Iraq and the 1st Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team is scheduled to move to Fort Knox, Ky., after returning from Afghanistan in the fall. It is after those moves that the population “enters steady state,” according to information from Fort Hood.

Lynch has said since taking command of III Corps and Fort Hood five months ago that the post has the infrastructure and space to support a population of 50,000 soldiers. He’s been on a “major campaign” to bring troops to Central Texas, he said Friday.

As home to the 4th Infantry and 1st Cavalry, Fort Hood is the Army’s only two-division post. It will lose that status in the spring, but is set to gain Division West, First Army, currently headquartered at Fort Carson. The command is led by a two-star general, like the 4th Infantry.

Also coming to fill the space left by the Ivy Division are two more training support brigades that will increase the post’s ability to mobilize and train National Guard and Reserve soldiers, Lynch said. The 120th Infantry Brigade conducts that mission at North Fort Hood now.

Lynch said he continues to campaign to get more soldiers.

Also at the roundtable, Lynch discussed “Vision 2011” – his campaign plan to “make the Great Place greater.”

“The purpose of this campaign plan is to establish and project and holistic approach, which is nestled within the Army Campaign Plan, the (Forces Command) Campaign Plan and my intent,” wrote Lynch.

The 132-page plan outlines how the post will prepare units for the execution of combat operations and how to take care of families from October 2008 to October 2011. It is based on five tenets: safety, deployment readiness, training readiness, leader development and force well-being.

Each of the five sections include information on how to successfully develop them and even outlines time and resource requirements, because, Lynch said, “vision without resources is hallucination.”

Members of the public often ask “What can I do?” and they can get involved in many of the programs spelled out in the plan, Lynch said.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or call (254) 501-7547.

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