By Mollie Miller
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD With hundreds of troops arriving at Fort Hood every day, the stresses put on the post and local communitys infrastructure continues to grow.
During a visit to Fort Hood on Tuesday, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, assured post commanders and local politicians they would have his support to make the changes necessary to accommodate the influx of troops.
Im here to offer my help, Cornyn said as he addressed media representatives in the atrium at the Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport. (Ive) been briefed and updated on what exactly is happening and finding out what else I can do as a United States senator to support our warfighters, to support our families and to support the communities that support both of them.
During his short visit to Central Texas, Cornyn visited with Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, III Corps commander; Maj. Gen. James Simmons, Fort Hood commander; Lt. Gen. Pete Taylor, chairman of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance; and local mayors and politicians. Some of the topics the team covered with the senator included base realignment and closure issues, needs of the community, transportation, housing and military budgets.
We are going to see more troops stationed here at Fort Hood, which, of course, means more families, more schools and more infrastructure, Cornyn said. (This) is going to require additional military construction budget coming out of the Department of Defense budget, but its also going to mean we are all going to have to pull together to support those troops and those families in even greater ways than we have done in the past.
While Cornyn repeatedly pledged his support to the troops and Fort Hood community, the senator seemed unaware that a funds request for additional motor pool construction at Fort Hood was recently denied.
When asked about why this request was denied and what he intends to do about the potential space crunch as the 1st Cavalry Division returns to post, Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, deferred the question to Metz, also present at the news conference.
General, that sounds like it may be above my pay grade, Cornyn said.
Recently returned to post from more than a yearlong deployment to Iraq, Metz also seemed unaware of the issue but said he would definitely be looking into the issue.
In an armor corps you need motor pools (and) now that (Ive been told) someone has denied funding for two motor pools, I will go find out who did that and begin the work to (find that funding), Metz said. Im sure we will get it.
Back in Washington, Cornyn was named chairman of a subcommittee that focuses on countering new and emerging national security threats.
The chairmanship of the Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities is the second for Texas junior senator. Cornyn said the assignment will be helpful for Texas.
This subcommittee is also responsible for authorizing many of the Pentagons research and development programs and technology efforts, an area where Texas excels, he said.
Cornyn also chairs the Senate Judiciary Commit-tees subcommittee on immigration, border security and citizenship.
The Associated Preess contributed to this report.
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